With Valentines Day tomorrow, I’ll admit I’m a complete grump and I really begrudge the whole commercial side of it. I always tell the hubbo I’d rather he get me flowers when they are a quarter of the price than spend stupid money on roses and tacky shit.
My miserable and slightly controversial view is that you shouldn’t need a certain day to tell someone how much you love them and you shouldn’t have to buy them stuff either.
Going back a few years, when I was old enough to read our local newspaper I noticed an advert in the announcements section.
It was hand written, and a lot of effort had clearly gone into it.
It was August, and the message was from a gentleman named Dick and addressed to his wife Carol.
“To my darling Carol, on our 56th Wedding Anniversary, I am yours forever and always my sweetheart. All my love and kisses, your Dick”
There were hand drawn kisses and a heart and it stood out as such a beautiful thing.
In October, another one appeared, it looked much the same.
“To my darling Carol, I cannot believe you have been gone three years, my life is nothing without you. I love you forever and always will, until we meet again. All my love and kisses, your Dick”
I cried. Pure tears and loud sobs. I think I was about twelve at the time and I felt so sad. Carol had obviously died three years ago and the love and devotion from Dick’s simple words moved me so much.
The week before Christmas, Dick wished Carol a merry Christmas by placing an announcement as he had done for their anniversary and so on.
Valentines Day, he posted a message as if they were still giddy teenagers in the first tender throes of courtship.
In May, he wished Carol a happy birthday. She would have been around eighty, and it was as always a tender message.
In July, he announced a new great-grandchild had come into the world and how proud she would have been if she could see their beautiful children and what incredible adults they had grown into.
In August, he wished her a happy 57th anniversary.
And then he carried on commemorating every single significant event for years.
He always wrote the most beautiful tender things, and you could clearly see he had worshipped Carol. What an honest and incredible man he was, to not give a toss what anyone thought and to publish his innermost thoughts and feelings out in the open for the world to see.
Every time I read the paper for many years I would look for Dick’s messages in the announcements section; I always hoped and wished I would find someone who loved me as Dick loved Carol.
I think it was maybe five or six years after that first message I had read, I turned the page and was greeted with the following:
“It is with great sadness that we announce that Dick has sadly passed away, after a short illness. We felt we needed to let all our readers know on a more personal level; as Dick always shared his innermost thoughts and feelings for Carol. Sleep well Dick, and we hope you and Carol are reunited, together forever in Heaven.”
I’m typing through tears at this very moment, as this still moves my miserable soul to this very day. I never knew Dick, but his regular declarations of love for Carol proved to me that true love does exist and what a truly beautiful soul he was.
So does anyone need a diamond ring and an overpriced bunch of roses to know they are loved?
I won’t lie, of course material things are nice but I’d much rather have a kiss and a cuddle and know that I am loved.