I never cared much for Valentine’s Day. It was a day for those who had someone to love.
Then I met Richard. He was born on Valentine’s Day thirty-six years before we met. If he had been born a girl, his parents would have named him Valerie. Instead he was named for King Richard the Lion-Hearted.
Richard loved to say, “Everyone celebrates my birthday.” I celebrated his birthday each year by giving him two cards and two gifts and arranging a party for him – complete with a heart-shaped Carvel ice-cream cake.
He passed away just two weeks before his 57th birthday. I placed roses on his grave for his birthday.
Stephen was indifferent to Valentine’s Day. But when he understood why the day became special to me, he endured the Valentine’s Day cards from me that contained sloppy messages proclaiming my love for him. He also enjoyed the chocolates and scented candles I gave him as I greedily stole more kisses and hugs from him.
I no longer feel antipathy towards the day that is sometimes referred to as a Hallmark holiday. Richard was a memorable Valentine. I miss my second Valentine as well.
I am sharing one of Richard’s favorite songs for his birthday.
The One by Elton John