This year a resident at the Hester Home asked me to be her valentine. She truly is the cutest little lady I've ever met! I go up to the Home and draw blood at least once a week. Mrs. R (as we will call her here), is so sweet to me, no matter how early I wake her up, or how often I have to draw her blood, which is really quite frequently. I know she doesn't like it and she gets frustrated with it, but she is always so kind to me and very sweet. I oftentimes have to wake her up at 6am, but she always shares her smile with me.
Last week after I took her blood, I gave her a red bandage and told her the color was just right for Valentines Day! She responded with, "Oh! That's right! It's coming up, isn't it?" I told her it was and then she said, "Well, will you be my Valentine?" with a cute little grin. How could I resist?! I giggled and told her that I would love to be her Valentine. She was so excited and proceeded to give me a big hug. So the other day when I was drawing her again, I told her to expect a nice treat from me. She insisted that I didn't get her anything, but I just couldn't help it :)
I went up to the Home after work and gave her a small container of cookies and a card. They were in the middle of a Valentines Party, but I quietly sneaked in and told her it was waiting for her in her room. She was so thrilled to see me and gave me a hug. I chatted with her a few minutes and went on my way. It really made me feel good and I'm so glad I took the time to do that for her. I don't know her very well, and I don't know if she gets a lot of visitors, but I sure do enjoy seeing her and chatting with her when I'm up there, even if it's just about the weather. I know I become a bit attached to these residents at the home, but they are so nice to me and I really truly enjoy seeing them and spending a few minutes with them when I draw their blood. It's completely worth it to go that extra mile and sit when them an extra moment when they are a little down, or to look at a picture of their family with them, or read a card with them that they have gotten in the mail. They are so excited to share with me when I come. :)
A couple of years ago for Valentines day, the first one I spent without Spence, I picked 5 people to exchange Valentines with. I made cute little owls out of toilet paper rolls. They turned out SO cute. I had a really fun time giving them and it was fun to see what they sent back. Last year I went to visit Spencer's grave and I went to Olive Garden, as we always used to to.
I'm glad I've found ways each year to make this day special for me. It's tough not having my husband around to share it with, but I enjoy sharing it with other people. I think I'm going to pick back up the exchange with friends next year. I didn't do it this year for some reason, but I think having Mrs. R as my Valentine was the perfect way to have it :)
Even though I don't get to express my love directly to Spencer anymore, our love is still there and it is still very tangible to me. There are a couple of quotes I just love by Mitch Albom that perfectly describe the love between Spence and myself.
"Death ends a life, not a relationship."
"Lost love is still love, Eddie. It takes a different form, that's all. you can't see their smile or bring them food or tousle their hair or move around a dance floor. But when those sense weaken, another heightens. Memory. Memory becomes your partner. You nurture it. You dance with it. Life has to end," She said. "Love doesn't."And our love will never, ever have an end.