I arrived home later than usual last night. My bride of almost 33 years had a surprise waiting: a dozen roses – ten red ones surrounded by two white ones. Within an hour or so, the news broke: Virginia’s ban on our marriage had been ruled unconstitutional. Combined, these make for probably the best Valentine’s Day yet 🙂
You have to understand that I absolutely love getting flowers, particularly roses, anytime – no special occasion needed. My wife, on the other hand, is not into such things. Over the years, I’ve learned not to be disappointed when I don’t get them; heck, I just buy them for myself if need be. But something changed last July 11, something that has deepened our relationship more than I thought possible.
A piece of paper.
After all these years, and after a religious ceremony in 1982, the piece of paper has made my wife so happy. It has given her comfort, a freedom from her fears, that I never thought possible. She has a copy taped to the wall – the original is safely tucked away – for all to see. When we had a minor fire in the house a few months ago, one of the fireman noticed it and congratulated us. She just beamed.
I get the sense that she finally feels secure. It’s not like I haven’t tried over the years to make her feel that way, because I have. But the paper is like proof. Finally, the last little wall of self-preservation is gone.
The roses are a reflection of that. Remembering to order them, putting the white ones in the middle – those are things she probably wouldn’t have done before 7/11/13. Her joy at seeing my reaction to them was previously unfathomable.
All because of a piece of paper.
That we – and couples across Virginia – are on a path to have our marriages recognized makes this Valentine’s Day special.
Happy Valentine’s Day, my darling. I love you with all of my heart.