2.13.2013

Would I still be your Valentine?

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Jeremy was never big on Valentine's day.

He didn't hate it. We didn't ban it. He just wasn't overly romantic. He tried to be, and did some very sweet things, but most of the time we were too broke to really do anything anyway. And yet, on this Hallmark holiday celebrating love, it brings those little moments rushing back as if it were a big deal. Cause he was a big deal to me.

Our first Valentine's, while we were still dating, I cut up hundreds of hearts and wrote different reasons why I loved him on each one. Every year after that, I re-used them in different ways, and would add more reasons why I loved him in the mix. I was thinking today that I'm not sure what I would add this year, because he's not evolving or changing anymore, I love him for all the same reasons. He is and forever will be the 31 year old, handsome and strong husband and father in my eyes. But then it also made me realize how much I have evolved and changed since then, and pieces of me that Jeremy will never get to see. And it made me wonder if he would love the girl I am now.

I don't love the way I used to. I'm more careful with it, but I also cherish it so much more. I'm more comfortable in my own skin. I actually enjoy cooking (who would have thought?!), and I know how to maintain a household pretty well on my own. I'm scared of things I didn't used to be scared of, and unafraid of things that used to terrify me. My support system has changed, my friends aren't the same. My priorities have shifted. My dreams and goals have evolved. Would you still love this version of me that has been beaten, broken down, and built back together?

Of course, I know the answer. Even though I'm not the same girl I was before he died, I know that essentially, emerging from grief has forced me to be a better version of myself....probably the version that Jeremy always saw in me. And even though I've grown for the better, I'm still me. I'm still the girl who has to sleep on the left side of the bed, who tries to please people too much, who quotes Friends in my head on a daily basis and then hears his laughter in the back of my head affirming how funny I am. I'm still the girl who wants Faith and Caleb to love the things their daddy loved, who cries at nearly every movie, and who holds onto all the precious and unforgettable quirks that he had. I'm still the girl terrified of fish, loves all things cotton candy, rollercoasters, pink, and slurpees. I'm still the girl that wants to tell our story. I'll always be that girl.

Yes, I am still convinced that no matter how much time separates us, no matter how much change comes between us, I would still be your Valentine.

7 comments:

My Husband's Watching TV... said...

I think Jer would always love you, no matter what version you are. You are such an amazing person! Hugs my friend!

Anonymous said...

Couldn't this perhaps have been an opportunity to talk about how much you love Steve and what a great Valentine's you two had planned? I don't mean at all to be hurtful or to assume anything about your actual relationship, but the public side seems to push the current husband to the side and I (stupidly, since it's not my place to and I know that) worry about how that affects him.

Allison B. said...

Beautiful post Vee, as always! Of course Jer would love the amazing woman you have become~you are just the evolved, better version of yourself that God intended you to be!

@ "Anonymous": I know Vee and Steve won't waste their time replying to such an ignorant, judgemental comment but I can't stay silent! It's infuriating...I mean Seriously?!? You say that "it's not my place to and I know that" but then you still went ahead with such a hurtful comment. So you knew better but did it anyways? Were you purposely trying to hurt her then?!? I have SO much to say to you but I will end with this: you haven't walked in her shoes, so you have NO idea. Judging a person does not define who they are. It defines who you are.
~Allison

Perpetual Student. said...

I agree with 'My husband's watching tv', I think Jer would always love you.

Perpetual Student. said...

I agree with 'My husband's watching tv', I think Jer would always love you.

Anonymous said...

To Allison B (and Vee and Steve) - truly I am very sorry for my comment. I was imagining how I would feel if my husband was writing extensively about his dead wife, and it's wrong to speculate how others would feel in that situation. Clearly, Vee and Steve have a beautiful, understanding relationship built on trust and honesty. I just genuinely wondered, as a member of the public reading a public blog, how it might affect Steve, but, again, that wasn't my place. I'm sorry.

Vee said...

Anonymous,

I hope you received my response back over email when you originally commented. I am NOT offended by genuine questions....I understand that many people don't get to see all the pieces of our relationship and it can look different for different people. If I know a comment is ill-intended, I will not post it or respond to it. But I know there are probably others who might be thinking the same thing as you.

I will not speak for Steve on this issue, but I can tell you we both understand that our blogs are specifically geared toward those in grief and my own experiences in grief. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful mate who gets that and walks along side of me, and I am already in the works to have a page that is conducive to both my grief to help others and to the joys of my every life now. I have MANY wonderful things to share about Steve, including what a wonderful Valentine's day we had together. But until then, this site will be used specifically for grief. Thanks for your genuine concern.

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