The first Valentine’s Day without Shannon…going into it, I didn’t think it’d be especially hard, because Shannon and I always downplayed it. We got the requisite cards and chocolates, and we took good care of the kids, but since we’ve been married, we both felt it was mainly a Hallmark holiday. But yesterday was a bit tougher than I expected. While cleaning the closet, I found an envelope of US memories. Notes we’d left each other, pictures from some of our earlier times together, pictures she’d colored for me, ticket stubs from early dates/concerts. And I’ll be honest, I broke down at seeing those. Remembering the days where we knew nothing of this damn cancer, and had dreams of years and decades together. And then, going out to dinner…I went with my parents and the kids, which was good, but looking around at all the couples and young love…it was definitely a reminder of the one that wasn’t there with me.
But, I survived. That’s the first “event” in a series of 5 months straight that will be tough without Shannon. March is Darcy’s birthday, April was Shannon’s birthday, May is Noah’s birthday and Mother’s Day, June is Father’s Day.
In honor of Valentine’s Day though…Now that Shannon isn’t here, I’ve noticed a lot of things I wish I had done more often. I post this for those who may take these things for granted…Do them now and appreciate the little things
- Gone to bed the same time – So many times, I would stay up too late watching TV, puttering around on my laptop, snoozing on the couch. She would sit in bed reading, and usually fall asleep by the time I came up. Spending the night alone in bed, missing the time to be in each other’s presence
- Wrote love letters – It wasn’t “practical” to do…we lived together most of the time we were a couple, we always saw each other. But I regret that going through old emails, all I see is notes like “Can you bring me a cup of ice?”, “What do you want to do for dinner?” and “We need to remember to pay this bill and pick up this from the pharmacy”. I never stopped and just poured my love out for her.
- Taken moments to tell her HOW I loved her – Oh, it was easy to say I love you. It becomes routine. Take time in your day, maybe not every week, but every couple weeks, and tell your significant other exactly what they mean to you. Believe me, it goes a long way.
- Held hands or Hugged – We hugged, but usually it was just a passing thing as we parted ways for the day or something. I can’t remember the last time we just hugged, and held onto each other like we would never be letting go…
- Kissed on the lips – I’m not talking the open mouthed kiss here. But most days when I went to work, I would just peck her on the forehead or cheek.
- Enjoy the silence – Nowadays, the silence is what makes me lonely. But the times just sitting, just enjoying her sitting with me, not needing to talk to fill the space between us. I sure miss that company