This coming week is Valentine’s Day. It is a holiday for couples, so I feel somewhat out of place in its celebration. As a single Mom, I get used to going to Cub Scouts and watching the other two-parent families play. I get used to school forms addressed to the Parents of Isaac Holliday or Frederick Holliday III. I get used to a lot, but Valentine’s Day is not one of those things.
This holiday reminds me of those inexpensive heart necklaces we wore as children. You know the type you gave to your best friend? The necklace consisted of two parts: two jagged sides of one heart. You supposed to wear one and so was your best friend; thereby representing the friendship was forever.
These simple necklaces and their jagged edges were an astute metaphor: when you lose your best friend all that is left is a heart torn in two. Life goes on, but it is never quite the same.
In the months after the death of my husband Fred, I watched every video I could find of him. There were not very many as he was usually the cameraman. My favorite video was filmed in the Casselman Bridge Park in Grantsville celebrating our engagement in 1993. There is 30 minutes of somewhat shaky video of Fred, his family and I. It is high summer and we were so in love. My favorite part of the video happens when the cap is placed on the lens of the camera. The tape goes dark. Fred forgot to turn it off and placed it in the back seat of the car.
You can hear the engine rev to life. We drive away in companionable silence with only the occasional word being said. I remember we were holding hands; my memory recalls the details the camera could not. The sounds of traffic, the drone of the insects and a few quiet words fill the end of the tape.
This coming week is Valentine’s Day. The Rotary Club of Grantsville is having a special meeting. We were all told to invite our spouses or some other important person in our lives. My eight-year-old son Isaac said he would go with me. I am thankful for that.
I am thankful for so many things as I live out my life. I am thankful for the love I have known and that I still can cherish companionable silence.