Valentine of Love

a writing by Linda Bates Terrell

Valentine of Love

Many years ago I was sitting at my grandmothers house on Valentines day. It was a cold Febuary morning. The ice crystals were gathering on the outside window ledge. The steam from grandmas whistling kettle filled the room. The smell of eggs and bacon lingered throughout every room of the downstairs.
She sat near the fireplace on an old wooden stool to stoke the fire. It blazed as she poked it. The flames shot up the chimney glowing with tiny orange sparks scattering flying upward like little fireflies on a warm September night.
I picked up my pen and gathered some paper. I then rested myself upon her old couch. I so wanted to write the most amazing Valentine to give to my love that night when he came to see me......but what could I say.I wrote.....My love to you on Valenties Day......that was it. I could think of nothing else to write...I was stumped at what to write. How could I write a lovely Valentine. Just saying I love you was so plain so simple. I pondered for a moment.
I sit quietly and looked around the room hoping for some kind of inspiration. While I did I spotted a red heart shaped box upon grandma's bureau.....It was old, worn, and scattered with tattered old lace.
It lay atop some of grandma's very special lacy little doillies.I had to check it out as it baffled me to see it setting out. I might have now wondered so much to have seen a new candy box, but why would anyone keep such a dingy old candy box. Then I opened it, as it still smelled faintly of special chocolates. No empty crinkled brown papers were still in it. In it instead was some paper doilies, and a big red valentine rolled up in a brown paper with a string tied snuggly around it. Grandma picked it up then sat in her favorite chair. She funbled it with her nimble fingers trying to untie the string. Finaly she got it.
She expressed such a warm smile as she gazed into a small stack of papers she removed. She lifted the contents, about to reveal the old vintage Valentine. She looked at it in amazement. Then she held it up for me to see, as the bow of white ribbon on it drooped across the faded red paper. I listend to the words that she had to say as my heart fell. This is the gift I received from you grandfather many years ago. Every year I get it out to remind me that if I never get another Valentine through the years this one is specail to me again and again every year.
She raised it to read it. With her scratchy soft voice she began. In was in Grandpa words and in his writing in faded ink.

Today My Darling.
I await for your reply,
O---my love---for you I cannot deny,
I gasp breathlessly in your presence,
Dear, I love you so with a reverence,
My sweetest love won't you be my Valentine?

As she finished reading it she held it close to her heart knowing that they never did part. Grandpa walked into the room and sit beside her. He put his feeble arm around her and grasped her shoulder with his thin calaced hand. She slightly turned her head toward him. She smiled at him then continued to read.
She turned it over to read her reply:

Oh, Yes my love,
You're sent to me from above,
Yes my dear, I will be your Valentine,
For today, and forever, and for all time,
You've alone captured my heart,
My love, may we never part.

She raised her eyes to meet mine, as she shared her most precious Valentine. As I looked I seen it upon her cheek, a tear did run gently, from her recolection of thier endless love.
He leaned over and kissed her on her cheek just near the dripping tear. One could not express the love they shared easily. They however did. You see they spent their most precious Valentines Day that year with me. How much luckier could I be, that their love included me.

Linda Terrell
Feb. 5, 2010

Be Yourself
From The Beginning
Live Life
Valentines Sweet
Valentines Day 2010

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