My Valentine Essay

Valentine, who was arrested and eventually killed for going against the Roman Empire to perform weddings and minister to Christians.

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One of the girls has a long-time boyfriend, so a romantic date night was inevitable between the two, the other has a complicated situation that could've put her on a date as well, so I expected to spend it alone in my room; more than likely reading a novel.

Not that I was complaining, I was beyond happy for them (and I still am), plus, I love to read.

But as the day approached, my friend's were sure to include me in their plans; they wanted me to be a part of the day and help me have a great holiday, especially after going through a tiring break-up and an even more tiring last few weeks.

So Cassie and I decided to dress nice and eat somewhere fancier than most Girl's Nights, so we went to our mutually favorite place, one that is our go to for fancy meals and celebrations - a steakhouse.

But even though my grandmother was no longer alive, her Kisses continued to arrive. The handwriting isn't either of my parents' and the new admirer pre-dated my husband. Still, every February 14 I receive a magical reminder that love is out there in many incarnations, many shapes and forms.

Even now, each Valentine's Day I can count on the parcel appearing at my door, always without a return address and always signed "From a Secret Admirer." Like the packaging and the weight of the chocolate, the handwriting on the card has changed. It has the power not only to surprise and delight, but also to endure, even against extraordinary odds.But with the passing weeks, my bonds with my college friends have become increasingly stronger.My college friends are quickly becoming my best friends, and in the short time we've been bonding it seems as though we have been friends all our lives.She took me to ballets and operas and political protests, role modeling the part of a committed and compassionate New Yorker. After 47 years, two marriages, and five children, I wish I could say I've mastered love's mysteries, that I understand where it comes from and how it lasts.Though her death ten years ago at age 92 was not unexpected, it didn't diminish my grief at the loss of a remarkable woman, a close confidante, and the quiet mischief-maker I knew as my secret admirer. Yet I'm as clueless now as I was when I tried to make sense of the faded words stamped on powdery candy hearts.We joke, we laugh, we poke fun at one another being sure to emphasize our specialty of sarcasm, and all-the-while we support each other in everything we do and everything we aspire to be.We are all studying to be elementary school teachers, which only helps to strengthen our bond - we can be there to help carry each other through not only our college experience, but our careers; and that's something that we will be forever grateful.Sometimes she'd call on February 14 and ask me to go check the porch to see if she'd left her umbrella there.As I got older and moved away from home, the Kiss would arrive in a brown paper wrapped parcel with no return address — at the dorm mailroom, at my first apartment, across the country in graduate school, and at the house where I was raising my own children.Anyway, as the weeks have passed and months of us enjoying nearly every class together, we decided to designate every Tuesday a Girl's Night (we typically go to the movies, although we will stray from the movie theme if such an even occurs where the movies in theaters are uninteresting to us, in which we will likely substitute for bowling, as will be the case this Tuesday).We started this as an aid to the relief of daily stress we were receiving, the idea of going out with the girls to get our minds of things and just have fun was enticing; and quite quickly Tuesdays became our favorite days.


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