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Archive date:  February 11, 2010

A Valentine Story

It is the actions behind the thought that counts . . .

departure from our usual format is in order. My longtime friend, Steve Brumfield, put together some wonderful thoughts about his approach to Valentine’s Day. It is a perfect example of how this day should be observed. Steve articulates the concepts of “the actions of love”, very clearly: it is much more than just card/candy/flowers on a single day. Steve sets the bar pretty high. I don’t know how well I stack up comparatively. I do know this; our lives would be much better if we made Valentine’s Day…every day.

David Bates


Remembering Valentine's Day

By Steve Brumfield



Okay, guys, stay with me here. I understand and am well aware that nobody wants advice, but would like to offer up some thoughts about my favorite holiday ... Valentine’s Day. I know, this is dangerous territory for guys, since many consider Valentine's Day to be a holiday created for women and by women. But my experience is a little different; it really is my favorite holiday.


For a number of years, I would get my wife candy and flowers. Sue liked the candy. However, she did not like the cut roses. After all, they were cut -- they were just dead flowers to her, plus they charge twice as much for the "dead ones" as they do for live ones. So about ten years prior to her death, I started doing silly things... small things.


For about ten years, I had gotten Sue a stuffed singing something-- most of these were simple stuffed animals that "sang" a classic song of some kind. One year it was a mouse dressed up in an evening gown with a little wig and microphone singing "Fever." Another year it was a Gorilla that sang "WILD THING." And on and on I had selected a new stuffed animal for each. It was challenging to come up with a new one each year, but fun at the same time. (Hint: I got most of these from Walgreen's.)


I don't know what more I would have done.


Sue liked some better than others; however, we saved them all. In February of 2007, I went to a Michael's crafts store in Cool Springs and got a bunch of stuff to decorate our mantle. I got all the singing stuffed things out from previous years and put them on the mantle -- I was sneaking around the house to do this at 2 or 3 in the morning. Then, I put the latest addition, a dog that sang "I Can't Stop Loving You" beside the coffee pot and a note telling her to go in and play cut six on the CD, a John Denver song, "For You." I also got a white shoe polish pencil so I could write things on the mirror in the bathroom and over the window above the kitchen sink.


Perhaps you have a routine, perhaps not. My experience suggests that women appreciate thoughtfulness more than big gifts ... at least this was true in my case. So on Valentine's Day of 2008, I thought back with fondness on my precious wife and our life together, realizing that if I had known Valentine's Day 2007 would have been our last one, I don't know what more I would have done.


Guys, let's not take for granted the preciousness of the ones we love and remember them in simple ways that say, "I love you!"

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(c) 2009 Steve Brumfield
Reprinted with permission of author