He’s my valentine 365 days of the year.

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And no, I am not talking about Richard Armitage. My husband Benny and I have been together for more than 27 years now. It really has been a case of  “for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse, in sickness and in health.”

No matter what, he was, and is, and always will be my sweetheart, my best friend, my soul mate.

Today is Valentine’s Day, which we observe with cards and small gifts. It’s not a big deal for us. As I said, he’s my sweetheart and I am his, and we try to show that to each other throughout the year.

Every morning before he leaves for work, I get a sweet kiss and an “I love you,” always a good way to start one’s day. I know a kiss and a warm embrace will be mine when he returns home.

On an early summer’s evening, I might find myself the recipient of wild roses he has stopped and picked from the roadside on the way home. In many ways those ruffled pink blooms are more beautiful than the most elegant florist’s creation.

awildrose

He definitely spoils me, but not by lavishing me with big, expensive gifts. It’s not just that we can’t afford them; it’s simply not the way he operates, and that’s fine by me.  Better the small, thoughtful gestures throughout the year than 364 days of being ignored, taken for granted or ill-treated with an attempt to make up for it all on the 365th.

The other night, I asked him if he wanted to split the last slice of rum cake. “No, I left that for you. Because you like it so much.” He smiled indulgently, adding in a sweet, teasing tone, “Because I love you.” It’s a good man who’ll give up the last slice of moist, fragrant, delicious rum cake.

arumcake

I battle a chronic health condition that leaves me feeling pretty rotten more often than I care to say.  This week, he came home from work to find me shivering beneath the covers, aching all over and unable to get warm.

“Well, no wonder, you’ve pulled things loose from the foot of the bed and you’re getting drafts, you whirling dervish,” he said, gently chiding me. Pulling off the quilt and comforter and throw, he carefully re-arranged everything, tucking in the covers even as he playfully threw them over my head. “Not dead yet,” he said cheerily, quoting from one of our favorite movies, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”

Cover of "The Monty Python Box Set (Monty...

Cover via Amazon

“I’m feelin’ bettah,”I chirruped in return. Soon I was warmer and cozier, but not just from the covers. The hearty kiss he gave me helped, too, and the knowledge that no matter what, I was truly loved and cherished.  For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.

365 days of the year.

atootsieroll

About fedoralady

I'm an LA native--Lower Alabama, that is. My husband of more than 30 years and I live here on a portion of my family's former farm with two gorgeous calicos and a handsome GSD mix. My background is art education, and over the years I've been a teacher, department store photographer, sales associate and a journalist. My husband, his business partner and I have Pecan Ridge Productions, a video production company, for which I shoot & edit video and stills and manage marketing. I also still write part-time for the local paper. I love movies, music, art, photography and books, and my tastes in all of them are eclectic.

16 responses »

  1. Wow Angie. You made me well up there for a moment! Congratulations on 27 years together – it sounds like you have definatley found your soul mate! My husband and I had a glass of champagne on the deck (trying to find some relief from the heat with a small breeze!) to celebrate Valentine’s day. Like you, its the little things throughout the year that make our relationship so special, we have been together for 9 years, married for 5 – things get so crazy with work and 2 young children that we often forget to say I love you but its things like tucking you up in bed or saving the last piece of cake that make you realise when you are blessed to have found that someone special.

  2. Yes – it’s those everyday acts of love that are so important – not the grand gestures. Mr Bolly is such a kind, generous and thoughtful man that he makes me want to be a better person too. I suspect he feels the same way and i can’t help thinking that is a positive thing for us both. Too often i see dysfunctional relationships where both parties are so angry they can’t feel generous towards one another or aspire to be the one who gives.

    Talking of giving. Mr Bolly is also generous in that department. But this year we had had serious words about not going OTT on Valentines Day as there is nothing i want. He couldn’t even fall back on flowers as i only like flowers from the local farmers market (i don’t like hot house grown, out of season ‘posh’ flowers) and they aren’t very good at the moment due to our very hot and then monsoonal weather. The last bunch i got broke my heart as they wilted within a day. But then i was walking past my favourite menswear shop yesterday and they had the new season clothes in – i went in and emerged 15 minutes later with a cashmere sweater, a shirt and two t shirts. If i had been less excited about the sweater i might have thought to keep them hidden for a day – as it was i presented them as soon as Mr Bolly walked in the door from work. He was mortified- he had 2 bars of chocolate for me. BUT.. the chocolate is Lindt with sea salt flakes – notoriously difficult to find here and my absolute favourite. So not only had he thought about what i might really really want, he had kept to our bargain about not spending lots of money and had trailed all over the city looking for it. Which, all in all, was the most romantic gesture he could possibly have made.

    • The Lindt chocolate is wonderful. We have it here (at a local drugstore) but not all varieties. I love the dark chili chocolate with cherry center. Delicious! A friend sent me some from Switzerland a few years ago. The fact he went in search of it like that was indeed a romantic gesture. 😀

      I told Benny one of the reasons that I like Richard so much is the fact he seemingly has so many personal qualities that remind me of Benny–the modesty, the thoughtfulness, the sense of humor, the gentlemanly nature. I feel blessed to have him in my life and yes, he has said the same about me. I think we bring out the best in one another.

      In times when we’ve been more affluent, we’ve spent more on gifts. I fondly recall the time he hid a pair of ruby channel set earrings on our Christmas tree (they matched a ring I already had) and I had to search for them. 😉 But there’s no need to spend what you don’t have in order to “prove” your commitment if you are secure in your relationship. The fact he’s stuck by me and been so understanding through everything–a lot of people with FMS don’t have that kind of partner, I am sorry to say–is worth any amount of stuff. And he is so understanding about the whole RA madness, bless him! LOL

      • I heard a segment on the radio yesterday about how you can have your own Lindt party. They come to your house and bring lots of varieties for you and your friend and/family! I wonder how much that costs!

  3. Wishing you a wonderful Valentine’s Day, both of you. It is the thousand tiny acts of love, isn’t it? May every day be full of love.

  4. What a sweet man Benny is and you are a lucky lady. Valentines has never been are special day, it is February 18th. We started dating on that day 24 years ago. My husband sucks at remembering dates but always remembers February 18th and November 19th are anniversary. My birthday forget it but with help (sons) he gets the date right. Love is not about the grand things, but the little things that count.

  5. You two are lucky ducky’s! It’s so nice to hear about couples that are soul-mates! We hear about so many that are not. Congratulations!

  6. Benny is a keeper, no doubt about it. When you guys were stationed at various far-flung AF bases, Mama and I often discussed what a comfort it was knowing Benny would take good care of you. It would have been difficult not to be uneasy otherwise. Glad you two had a good Valentine’s Day.

  7. I’m late with this, but thanks for sharing Angie, and congratulations to you and Benny for hanging in there together. So many couples seem to split at the first sign of any difficulty, not prepared to put the work in that’s required to keep their marriage (or partnership) strong.
    My husband and I have just chalked up 36 years of married life together, with a few ups and downs along the way, but always appreciating what we have. Like you, I am much happier with the small gestures along the way.
    After keeping it to myself for so long, he is amusedly (and bemusedly!) tolerant of my crush on Richard, which means more to me than any hothouse flowers on February 14th. 😉

    • Thanks, Mezz. Yes, I feel as if so many people are out the door now once the “honeymoon is over.” The reality is you will have ups and downs, that’s life, but if it’s the right person it’s worth weathering the storms. I tell you, an understanding Significant Other in regards to our RA obsession is a very great blessing. 😀 :

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