Valentine’s Day

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“Tomorrow is Valentine’s day Honey”, my wife mentioned. “So?” I responded. “Nothing. Maybe you’ve got plans”, she said with a big smile. “I’m tired”, I uttered. Valentine’s was a big thing for my wife. She wanted to make every moment special for us because we only live once. We were married for thirty years and she never missed any special occasions. It became an ordinary day to me as life was always stressful. Problems never go away. We’re stuck with them. On our wedding day, I promised to my wife that I would make her happy every day. I’d be there when she needed me. And I would follow her through every struggle we would encounter. But celebrating occasions like Valentine’s Day has never been my thing. I didn’t understand why it had to be important for women.

Two years ago on a Valentine’s Day, my wife bought tickets to Florida. She made reservations in a nice hotel along the beach. It was winter where we lived and I would love to go there. However, I couldn’t leave work as the company’s president would arrive the day after Valentine’s Day. Since we couldn’t go to Florida, my wife prepared a dinner at home with candles and flower petals on the table and on the floor. She was dressed up and put on light make-up. She looked beautiful and always had been beautiful in my eyes. I asked what the occasion was and she said it was Valentine’s Day. She served garden salad with Italian sauce and coconut shrimp for an appetizer then a lobster tail for our main course. She also baked heart-shaped chocolate cake with cherry on top for desert. After we ate, I went to bed right away as I was tired and all I wanted was to relax. I noticed her eyes were red as if she had just cried. I ignored it and went to sleep. The Valentine’s before that year, we were supposed to go to California but I had a busy day at work. She made dinner but I came home late. She was already asleep when I arrived home. She slept with an empty stomach as she waited for me to come home.

The day after my conversation with my wife about Valentine’s, I had seen fliers of Hawaii in our room. I thought she bought tickets to Hawaii as even though she knew we wouldn’t be able to go. I had an important meeting at work the next morning and I couldn’t miss it. I told her about it and she frowned. As I fell asleep, I had a dream. My wife had a heart attack while she was preparing our dinner. I got up from bed and I thought I was not dreaming anymore. I went to the kitchen to get water but as soon as I looked away, I saw my wife lying on the kitchen floor. She was dead and food was all over the floor as if she was making our dinner when she died. Smoke came out from the oven and the frying pan was on fire. I carried my wife and called out for my son. As I was screaming, my wife woke me up. “Thank God. It’s just another dream”, I whispered. I hugged my wife and told her that I love her. I never mentioned my nightmare as I didn’t want to worry her. Then, I went back to bed.

The next day, I cancelled my meeting and bought plane tickets to Hawaii. I spent the rest of the week with my wife. I brought her to a different seafood restaurant as she loved seafood. We got to experience the fantastic night life of Honolulu. It was amazing and we had so much fun. On Valentine’s night, I gave my wife thirty roses symbolizing our wedding years. I rented a beach resort with just the two of us there and hired a pianist to play a song for us. The pianist played our wedding song and I invited my wife to dance with me like the old times. It was a wonderful night and I wished it never ended. The smile I saw on my wife’s face was priceless. I was such a horrible husband as I never made her smile like that before. I hugged my wife tightly and told her,” I love you.” “I love you too but you must wake up. You have a busy day ahead,” my wife said. “Am I still dreaming?” I asked her. “Yes you are. It’s February 14th today. You need to get up. Hurry!” My wife uttered. I suddenly woke up as my alarm rang. It was already 8 o’clock in the morning and the meeting I was supposed to attend had already started. I told my wife to get up and help me make breakfast as I decided to cancel my meeting that day. But, she was not waking up. I planned on going to Hawaii with her and doing just what had happened in my dreams, but my wife was already dead. I slapped my face several times because maybe it was just another dream but it was surreal. It broke my heart a thousand times as I didn’t get to make it up to her for the last time.

After her funeral, I pulled our wedding picture out of its frame. I saw my wife’s handwriting on the back of the photo and it said, “It was the best day of my life – February 14th”. Then I realized that February 14th was our wedding anniversary. Tears fell and everything started to sink in. It was the reason why Valentine’s Day was extremely important to her. How could I have forgotten it? I learned from the day I lost her that she had health issues too. She hid it from me as she thought it would be another problem I had to deal with. I felt so wrong about how I treated my wife. I broke all my promises on our wedding day. She deserved way better and I wished I could make it all right. But it’s too late. Since I lost her, I always tell my son to cherish every moment with his wife as life is too short and we can never bring people back.

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