There have been bad days within the last two to three years. There have been days so painful that I felt that I had to hold myself together with Scripture and masking tape in order to make it through the day. Usually the anticipation of a bad day is the bad day. It has been the case that when the day comes, such as an anniversary or a birthday, it is not as bad as it is. This is not the case for Valentine's Day.
This particular day is what I call the last of the woken days. You see, in March it will be two years that my Love has left this earth. The first year everything was so incredibly numb. I'll tell you that the second year when the letters are not as consistent and you get less "check-ins", that the emptiness feels so loud, that is the problem. I feel that there was a similar issue when it came to childbirth. There was so much attention and help leading up to the birth and times at the beginning but the real work came the first year and after when you were left to your own devices as a parent.
Esther, my work best friend surprised me with a bag of goodies the night before Valentine's. She did this not just for me but for my children who (if I'm honest) I didn't buy anything for because I didn't have the energy to do it. I thought about it. I went into the store and I said, "I should get some Valentine's stuff for the babies." But I left. You want to know why? Because it hurt. Because it brought up bad feelings. Because it was too much for me and this "Too much" made me feel weak and needy. I never realized how hard it was for singles until today. Maybe you are not that type of single person Maybe you love your singleness. I don't think that I am there yet.
Esther texted me throughout Valentine's Day. I know what she was doing. As I got her messages, I knew that she should be celebrating her own day. Sweet woman!!! Instead she was loving on me. I felt her love. I got some messages. I got two cards in the mail. One of my students found that I was gluten intolerant and gave me beef jerky. It was the sweetest thing. I walked around with them as if they were two long stem roses. All the male teachers looked longingly at them. If ever I have a Valentine again, I will send him a bouquet of beef jerky.
There were a few moments yesterday where I felt... unlovable. Everyone has someone but not me. My someone went home. I am an odd man out. These are the feelings that I have not allowed myself to feel. Just cause you avoid them, doesn't mean they aren't there. They aren't true. I am loved. I may never be in love again but I am loved. There is every possibility that from now till the day I die, Valentine's Day will be hard. I sit and I look at this hardness. It hurts. I think of the other people I know who have lost someone and who continue to mourn trying desperately to live. I am not alone. It is painful, very very painful. What would I do to avoid this pain? What have I done to avoid the pain? What do people do to avoid the pain? Make bad decisions? Use people? Is the pain that great? Yes!!! Today, I sat and I felt it. This morning I am sitting here allowing myself to feel it. I am praying. It hurts. As it all washes over me, I can see it. The pain passes. It passes and I process and I cry and cry out to God.
"The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears; He delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted; He saves the contrite in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him from them all."
Isn't that the best Valentine of them all? Praise the LORD!