My Funny Valentine
Here I am writing about Valentine's Day, alone in my apartment, late at night with no one to cook dinner for, feeling a little sorry for myself, I'll admit.
When I think about Valentine's Day, the first thing that comes to mind are couples, mostly, when I was a part of one. Then I think about flowers, and when I was the recipient. But like most women, I expected them, or at least wished for them.
Who doesn't want flowers?
But with two divorces under my belt and two grown children with children of their own, I find myself surrounded by couples and none of them include me. I could pretend I'm a strong independent woman but I don't have to. I am. That doesn't mean I don't miss getting flowers though. And chocolates. Let's not forget those.
Okay so where am I going with this?
Well, I wanted to write something beautiful to commemorate a day I am too tired to Google the history about. All I know it's about love.
My theory is that sometimes love exists in ways we don't recognize because we have an image of what we think love should look like. Like when I think of couples for Valentine's Day, I think of mom and dad. But not all couples look like that.
Sometimes couples look very different than the ones we see on television or in movies.
It didn't take long for me to see that I am a part of a couple and have been for a very long time.
Let me tell you about my love;
We have been in this relationship for almost 11 years and she has never bought me flowers or candy, never once told me she loved me, sleeps right next to me every night but never says a single word. She doesn't do much around the house, never cleans. If anything, she makes more of a mess and waits for me to clean up after her. It seems she can't do a lot of things people do every day but I love her so much, I don't mind doing them for her.
So you must be asking why I do so much for someone who doesn't love me?
Oh, she does love me.
This love of my life, this little girl, age 10 and a half weighs about 10 lbs, 5 of those pounds is white hair, some of it matted I'm afraid. She actually cries when I go outside without her, watching me by the window with that face and those terribly sad brown eyes. It makes me feel so guilty, I find myself taking her with me everywhere just so as not to see that sad little face. People see us together and I hear them say, "She brought that to the store. Unbelievable." But we don't care what people say about us.
The worst is the morning when I get ready for work. She sulks on the bed and stares at me but when I look at her, she turns her head and refuses to make eye contact until she hears the sound of me grabbing the keys. Then she runs to me almost as if to apologize.
I give her a kiss and a hug, right before she scampers to her bed and puts her head down. I thought that's how she remains until I get home and see the toys and my shoes strewn about all over the floor.
I could have the worst day at work but when I get home and she runs to me, it's the best feeling in the world. I've never known anyone who reacts that way to me coming home. She even jumps on the sofa so I don't have to bend down to reach her. She's quite short, you see.
When I am at my desk writing or drawing, she will sit and stare at me with such focus, I wonder if she's actually reading any of it. And when I start tiring and fall asleep, she refuses to go to bed without me even when I command her to go. That's devotion.
And she is so smart. She can say “mama”, knows how to sit and pray with me and lets me dress her up in ridiculous Halloween costumes without complaining.
She has given me love I've never known, has been my constant companion and has been my crying pillow on those nights that dragged me into their shadow. This little girl gives me hope for another day, and changes my mood and spirit. She has no idea she has saved my life many times.
This Valentine is my best friend. I have learned from her that you do not need to be a part of a human couple to make Valentine's Day special. You just need love.
Tonight, I thank her for every day she has put up with me and my human flaws.
Coco, will you be my Valentine?
I think that means yes.
© 2018 Rosana Modugno