Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Forgotten Card

Ian and I never particularly did Valentines day.  Although I *like* getting the gifts and stuff, I never felt it a necessity.  It's a more than a bit over-commercialised to me, which is thankfully quite a protective view-point in my after.

But the day still holds memories. Some good. Some that trigger a sense of guilt.

John was born in the late evening on a Friday.  On the Monday, Ian came into my hospital room with a flower arrangement.  'Oh sweetheart, thanks for the Valentine's flowers' I say.

Dejected look on his face.    'Oh.  They were for having John'.

The poor dear.  He didn't get to the shops over the weekend.  He hadn't noticed all the Valentine's paraphernalia in the florists at all.  Hadn't even realised the date.  Didn't make the connection when he couldn't get roses, so just like when he proposed, resorted to succulents (I grow a lot of them now... they're about the only thing that actually survives my lack of memory to water).  

No matter what they were for, they were lovely.

The next year,  we'd agreed not to bother with Valentine's at all.  But on a whim, I bought a card for him because the text made me laugh in the store, and it was the first Valentine's since we married.  Plus I'd been a right royal cranky pants and it was a way of apologising.

I've been going through some more boxes and stumbled across it again yesterday.

The Front:
Dear Husband, I knew the moment I saw you, I knew we'd fall desperately in love, get married, have kids...
Inside, it reads: 
And drive each other crazy for the rest of our lives.

Little did I know, that for Ian, that would only be another four months.

I knew in the back of my mind I'd kept it, but had forgotten it's existence.  On finding it, once again I feel guilty, like it was a prophesy or something.  It doesn't matter that it was highly appropriate to our relationship, it still triggers that negative feeling.

The same as when I first packed it away. 


  1. Kerryl,
    When I came back from America, having been gone for two and a half weeks, away from him, I gave Stan a card that had a picture of two old folks sitting on a bench. On the inside it said "I want to grow old with you". I wrote to him that I looked forward to many more years together. Three weeks later he was dead. It is a poignant reminder for me, now. So sorry that you had to lose your love. xx

    1. Kerryl…those were the words I would say to my husband…as in "Grow old with me…the best is yet to be"….sorry for all of our loses.

  2. The last Anniversary card that my husband gave me included a list of all the memories that we had made together. He also said that he was looking forward to all the memories that we still were going to make together. When I first read the card on our next Anniversary (3 months after he died), it was like a knife in my heart. Now that it has been 2 1/2 years, I can read that card and feel his love and it brings me some comfort. It is a testimony of our love.

  3. Kerryl, My last anniversary card from my husband included a list of memories that we created together. I re-read it on my next anniversary (3 months after my husband died) and it was like a knife in my heart. He also wrote about continuing to make new memories forever. Now it has been 2 1/2 years after his death and I can read that card and feel comfort in knowing how much he loved me and how much I loved him.

  4. The January of 2011 ,I had decided to go thru our upper closet and throw out a lot of unnecessary things…mostly old cards. ( 40 years worth) I had it in my mind that some of the things our kids wouldn't even go thru someday when we weren't here. I sat next to my husband and asked him about each one, as we re-read them and then he said, "They will NEVER read all of these…pitch them". He was killed in an accident that next December and all I could think about was "did I really? throw them ALL away?" I couldn't even look until the next year…and thankfully…I still kept a few. I have punched a hole in the top of them and have them stored on a binder ring to keep them out in full view now. I so wish I would have kept ALL of them now…I don't know what I was thinking…but I am "thankful" for the few I just couldn't part with. Its the "signature" or what he wrote that means the world to me now….and now, I date all my cards that I send to my kids and grandkids.

  5. Why is it some of our memories in this "after" life trigger that? My husband committed suicide almost 4 years ago now. As we tried desperately for over 3 years to get the help he needed, to prevent what he ultimately succeeded in completing, I never felt guilt associated with his death. Don't get me wrong...I ABSOLUTELY wish there was something I could have done. I wish with all my heart it had never happened, but I honestly believe he and I both did everything we possibly could have done, Then there are all those small pangs of guilt.....the ones like you describe. Almost like feeling guilty that I ever hoped for and planned on a future together. But I know he wanted that future as much as I did, and that somewhere he is wishing the future could have been different. I have a box of cards he had given me, and every year I slip a Valentine inside from me.

    I wish with all my heart that you will be able to read that card again one day, and it will simply make you smile. Hugs and love, Lisa

  6. We had a house full of teenagers .. The place was loud and crowded while 5 of our 6 gained those skills that would move them on through life .. One child though was enough to undermine our relationship as Dan , so afraid of losing another child ( his oldest daughter was murdered several years prior) , blamed me for the discord.. I had decided I would stay until all they kids had finished high school and then I would move on ... 6 months before the last two were due to graduate , I had been downsized out of a job but found a great position in far northern MAINE .. I thought maybe we could try it all again without the kids there 24 /7 it was to be our great northern adventure ..Iran was going to stay we the last two til June graduation .. I commuted driving an 8 hour trip back to Vermont after I had worked 7 days in a row ... In February , he started complaining about arm pain .. He had been to the orthopedic clinic several times he was taking. Narcotic pain medication like candy .. Finally frustrated , I told him in my best nurse practitioner style , don't come home without an MRI ..