Today is Valentine’s Day (in case any of my readers needed a reminder), so my blog topic has already been determined. There’s no getting around it. Not that I have any desire to avoid it. Far from it.
Although it’s been nearly 40 years since my forever valentine and I first met and ultimately celebrated our first Valentine’s Day together, the flame still burns as brightly as ever, even if the kinds of things we do to celebrate the day might have changed. (Four children, six grandchildren, and that thing called aging have a way of doing that.)
We first got acquainted on a half-blind date when I was a first-year grad student and she was a college junior. I say “half-blind” because I knew who she was, but she didn’t know me from Adam. I asked her for a date on a dare by a friend. We had lunch together, and then I walked her back to her dormitory before I resumed classes. As I walked to class, I analyzed our date, seriously doubting that she’d ever consider going on a second date with me. But, unbeknownst to me, she returned to her dorm room that day humming the tune of “I’m Gettin’ Married in the Morning!” It wasn’t the next morning, but she did marry me. On our wedding day, she voluntarily took the vows that I had written for her. (She showed me that day how helpful she would be to my future writing career when she did a sudden impromptu edit of the vows upon forgetting the lines.) For nearly 40 years now, she has stuck with me through thick and thin. (I was thin then, no so much so now, but that hasn’t changed her commitment to me.)
We taught together for two years before the children started arriving, and she willingly put her own career on hold until all four of them were out of high school and two of them had graduated college. For thirteen of those years, she homeschooled the girls. (The fact that all of the girls are now college grads and in successful careers attests to the quality of her motherly instruction.) Then she reentered teaching, jumping in right where she had left off without missing a beat. (I never remember having a first- or second-grade teacher who was nearly so pretty and fun as she. All of my elementary teachers were old, ugly, and mean.)
Admittedly, I’m a bit biased in my assessment, but I think she’s prettier now than ever, and she’s getting prettier all the time. Whenever she complains about seeing signs of aging when she looks in the mirror, I tell her that when I look at her, I honestly still see the same girl who captured my heart and became my valentine those many years ago.
Solomon declared, “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing” (Pro. 18:22). He also said, “A prudent wife is from the Lord” (19:14). He spoke truth and wisdom. And such have I found my Valentine to be, a good gift from the Lord. She makes it easy to follow Solomon’s other command: “Rejoice with the wife of thy youth” (5:18).
Happy Valentine’s Day, Connie!