Yes, I know that Valentine's Day is over for another year but I've been giving it a lot of thought these past few weeks and it's still on my mind.
My parents had a rough marriage. They seemed so unhappy and miserable and you often wondered why they stayed married. They fought something horrible and often times it was ugly.
Yet, after they passed away and us kids were cleaning the estate, we stumbled upon the most astonishing sight. Tucked away high up in the broom closet was a stash of old Valentine candy boxes. Covered with dust and grime from being stored for so many years, they sat with untold love and promises.
They were beautiful boxes. With ribbon and flowers adorning the top of it. Many boxes were covered with felt or satin. Even in this old stage of their life, they were still beautiful boxes. And my mom had kept them, through all the fights, all the ugliness that was their marriage.
Us kids went through the house and picked items we wanted to keep in the family but no one picked the Valentine boxes. It greatly saddens me that us kids didn't see through all the fighting and our perceived opinion of their marriage, to recognize that there was love. And lots of it. My dad was a romantic. My mom cherished his gifts. I wish I had grabbed those dusty, dirty hearts and kept that part of their marriage alive rather than the memories of all their fighting.