Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day

Valentines day is known for being the day of love. It is kind of crazy because it became a holiday in memory of a martyred priest. You can find the details here. I never really cared for Valentine's day. It isn't because I don't have someone to love. We all know that is far from the truth!!! Twenty four years ago, on Valentine's Day, my grandfather died of a massive heart attack.
(Trying on a toupee at the Kansas State Fair. I always thought this photo was funny because I never knew him to have much hair nor does my mother who obviously was around him more and longer than I ever was!)

It was so devastating. Some of you are probably wondering how a 4 year-old can remember. I do.

I remember being told in the car ride home from my aunt and uncle's house. I remember I was in the back seat of our Chevy Citation and I bit the arm rest that was in front of me. I am sure if you were able to find it sitting in a junk yard today, you could still find holes in the vinyl. Some of my fondest childhood memories include him. Some of the earliest memories I have include him. One of my favorites is when I was playing with an old camera. He came strolling by and I asked him to smile and say, "Cheese!" He was more than happy to oblige. From what I understand he often told people of that same story and described the joy he had with me that day.

(My sister, Grace (age 8), and I (age 1) at Grandpa and Grandma's farm where my mom grew up.)

Even at 4, I understood the tragedy of losing my grandfather. He really was one of the only strong male role models I had growing up. Perhaps that is why it has impacted me so much.

(This is the picture that always pops into my head when I think of Grandpa. Here he is in his Kooties uniform.)
(Grandpa was a cook in France during the Korean War. Here he is in uniform. Similar to the picture below.)
(This is a drawing I did in high school of Grandpa in his Army uniform. I gave it to my grandmother and she displayed it proudly next to the photo I used as the model.)

I remember praying from the time I was a little girl, for God to send me a man that would love me. I thought at the time that I was praying for a father figure or another Grandfather like the one I had lost. Little did I know, my prayers would be answered many years later. God knew my heart and he knew what I needed. He delivered, but not in the way that I had anticipated.

In the summer of 2001, my younger sister introduced me to the song leader at the church that her, my mom and my brother had just started to attend.
(My sister, Ola, in 2003 or 2004.)

At the time I didn't think much of it. A few months later, I met him again at a Halloween party. His pick up line was unforgettable! I believe it was some thing like, "Hey, you're Ola's sister aren't you?" As he said this he ran his hand over my spiky blond hair.
(Stephen and I around when we started dating.)

Little did I know that a year later he was going to ask me to marry him.
(Engagement photo)

I truly found what my heart needed when I found Stephen. I couldn't ask for a better partner to travel through lifes ups and downs with.
(Wedding day, March 15, 2003)

We have had our fair share, but I know that I can always turn around and find his open arms there waiting for me.
(Our little family, Spring 2010)

So here's to you Handsome! On the day of love. I want you to know that you have helped bring joy to an otherwise sad, sorrowful day!

(Our little family, January 2011)


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