Growing up I would ask my mother, "Why did you marry dad?" I suppose I wanted to hear the romantic story of how she met my father or of how he proposed to her or even of their unrequited love for each other.
Her answer to me each time I asked was, "I always said that I would marry the first man who brought me violets in February."
"Did dad bring you violets in February?"
She would chuckle a bit or smile and say, "No." And she never did tell me why she married my father. I presume she knew I knew she loved him and he loved her.
They didn't share a romantic-can't-eat-sleep-do-anything-without-you kind of love. Their love was a deep, committed love ... and they left the romance ... tucked away in privacy. "If it existed at all." my sister would say.
I know it did. I was the child who watched everything and learned about relationships from my parents. Their romance wasn't all flowery and noisy and in your face. The romantic moments in their marriage could be seen when you watched closely, when you really wanted to see them as a couple, rather than parents.
I recall years of my father doing his yard work on a Saturday morning. I'd see him walking slowly back toward the house with a small fistful of pussy willow branches, a bouquet of violets or apple & pear blossoms during the spring, timothy grass or a sunflower during the summer months and through the fall, the odd bits of left over flowers that continued to blossom and the last of the grapes as the weather grew cold.
My mother would make him a hearty lunch of homemade chowder or soup and a wonderful sandwich. She would perk the coffee that she did not drink and serve him his lunch as a king would be served. There was china and place mats and linen napkins. She was not subservient, but rather, appreciative of what he did for her.
They would sit quietly together at the table, eating and softly chatting about this and that.
There was no romantic comedy at our house. There were no love letters or proclamations of undying love.
There was loyalty, kindness, respect, compassion. Plain. Simple. Love.
~Happy Valentines Day~