Monday, January 28, 2008

And the Winners Are . . .

I thought this would be easy, finding the sweetest Valentine's. Except . . .

YOU PEOPLE ALL HAVE COMPELLING, LOVELY, SWEET STORIES!

A pox on you all.

To me, the sweetest Valentine is the one Elizabeth got from an anonymous person. We have all hated Valentine's Day at one point in time. I have been known to wear black on February 14th in protest of all the timely love. Having someone remind you that you are loved even if there isn't a significant other in your life at the time . . . no sweeter Valentine exists. Winner #1 is Elizabeth.
Out one night with friends and co-workers in late January, the topic of valentine day gifts came up. Everyone shared their ideas and the level of gift you give as to how long you have been married, dating, etc. I didn't really join in on the conversation - I didn't have much to add to what was being discussed. As this was unusual for me, a co-worker inquired as to my silence. My reply "I'm not much into Valentine's Day as it relates to romantic ones. I can tell you what to send to family and friends on that day!"
A little while later, we were onto another topic.

Fast forward two weeks and Feb. 14th is here. The 17th floor of my office building is awashed in roses, balloons, teddy bears and chocolates. It was almost sickening.

And then, I receive a phone call to come to one of my partners' office. The door is closed. I knock and a voice I don't recognize says "Come in." I enter and for some reason close the door behind me. As I look up, there are 4 young people and an older man. "Ms Thomas, Miss Elizabeth Thomas?" he asked. "yes, I am she." You've been sent a Singing Valentine Day card. He hands me a card and a single red rose and then the girls' begin to sing "It's in his Kiss" They sang two other songs, but I truly do not remember them. I was just staring at the card - All it said was "You are loved by more people than you know. Happy Valentine's Day. Anonymous"
I was shocked, a little embarrassed and well, happy - the chestsire cat had nothing on me that day! The older man said he would tell me who the send was for $20. I started to say yes and then stopped myself. "No. No thank you. He will let me know in his own good time." The young girls squealed and smiled at my response.

I still do not know who sent me that wonderful Valentine. But the preserved rose is still in my office - and it makes me smile when I look at it. A reminder that I am loved by more people than I know.

All those hubby stories . . . from a microphone to hear his love's voice better while singing, to Diet Coke and hair dryer in a time of poverty, to eking out a romantic dinner with a 7 month old baby, to spending limited resources on wedding pictures to last a lifetime . . . have such merit, such love in them. The one that won my heart, and the My Fruit Rollups promotional code, has to be TurtleToes tale of getting exactly what was needed: Diet Coke and a new hair dryer. Any man who pays that much attention to the daily bits of life deserves to give his kids some custom fruit snacks. Winner #2 is TurtleToes:
My sweetest Valentine would have to be the first Valentine my husband and I shared as a married couple. We were broke. Flat broke, actually. I am not a big coffee drinker but at the time (nearly 15 years ago) I had to have a Diet Coke in the morning. On the day before Valentine's Day, our hair dryer quit working. There was no Diet Coke in our fridge. I'm sure the day got worse but I've blocked it from memory. On Valentine's Day morning I found a chilled six pack of Diet Coke in the fridge and a brand new hair dryer sitting on the counter beside the fridge.

The third winner emailed her entry to me because I had accidentally turned off commenting on the blog. I'm going to blame that on my son who has learned how to use the mouse very well, but who doesn't always click where he should. The email was sent on Sunday. I posted it in the comments this morning. She did make the deadline. Why did hers win? The tale of a challenged child and his teacher who had to be stern touches me as I have taught my share of difficult children. When one of those challenging kids returns your love (because that is why you were stern with the kid in the first place, love), the heart completely melts, completely.
My story happened many years ago when I was a teaching assistant for students with learning disabilities and behavior disorders. I worked with a second grade boy who had epilepsy quite severely. He would try and use his illness to get out of doing his school work. By the way, he became epileptic after falling out of a grocery cart when he was a toddler! I had to be firm with him quite often because he was babied and lazy. When the day came for our Valentine's Day party in the classroom, I thought I will never get a card from N. I did and it was signed by him as well as he was able to write. N. passed away in his late teens from brain surgery. Going to his wake was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do. I still have his Valentine's Day card to remember him by.


Thanks for sharing your Valentine's Day memories. Please share with us what you will do with your My Fruit Rollups. I'll email the codes to the winners. I really wish I had a code for all of you! Still, you can order with the coupon code BEMINE for $10 off.

Still want to try to win? Another reviewer is offering the same deal. Her deadline is Feb 1st.