This may be a bad thing for a romance author to admit, but we really don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day at my house–at least not for the reasons most people celebrate it.
I don’t have a husband. Don’t have a significant other, and even if one of my daughters or I happen to be dating someone on February 1, by around February 10th the relationship bites the dust. It always seems to happen, and it always happens big. Such a fuss just to avoid shelling out for a box of chocolates or a couple of flowers.
It’s more than just not having men in our lives, though. February 13th happens to be a very unlucky day in our family. Twice, now, life-altering things have come our way on February 13th. Bad things. The kinds of things I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, which means that February 14th is always more about taking inventory and making sure we’re all still breathing than about hearts and flowers.
Just about 18 years ago, after the first major ugly February 13th, my oldest daughter and I ate dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. We had a very quiet, tear-filled dinner that night while we prayed that my youngest daughter, who had been abducted at gunpoint the previous day by her biological father, would some day come home to us. Miracles do happen, and by the next year, we were all together, safe and healthy. We went back to that restaurant for Valentine’s Day that year and celebrated being together.
Since then, with only a couple of exceptions, that’s how my daughters and I celebrate Valentine’s Day. Dinner at the Mexican restaurant, thanking God that we’re all together.
One of these days, my daughters lives will change and they’ll start celebrating Valentine’s Day the way the rest of the world does. I’m okay with that. It’s as it should be. Maybe I will too. Stranger things have happened, I guess. But no matter where life takes me from here on out, I think that as long as my daughters are on this planet, I’ll probably celebrate Valentine’s Day with a taco or two.