I'm actually finding things harder second time around. There's a notion that 1st anniversaries are the hardest and once you get past that, then it gets easier. It felt like I zombie-walked through a thick fog most of the first year. So, I can't remember what I did last Valentine's Day.
Spent yesterday morning looking back at all the different ways we had celebrated Valentine's Day. If you think I'm going to write a long list of all the romantic gestures my darling husband did/showed to profess his undying love for me, you couldn't be more wrong 🤣🤣.
We'd been going out for just over 6 months and we had to spend our first Valentine's Day away from each other. Paul was here in Bovingdon working at Dixons and I was in Solihull working for British Gas. There were no flowers or chocolates delivered that day. I rang him upset and he didn't even realise that it was Valentine's Day. Paul was never into overtly demonstrative behaviour or grand gestures, which are usually dictated by commercially motivated 'celebration' days. He hated going to restaurants and paying a lot of money for what he called 'poncy' food.
We would choose a restaurant which didn't offer Valentine's Day set menus and a wilted rose on the table. Over the last few years, we went to "A one Dosa", a rustic South Indian restaurant in Luton. Oh, and there was always a walk involved 🙄.
Talking of walks, I went for a walk with a good friend Cath yesterday morning. When we got back, there was a beautiful card and chocolates waiting for me. They were from Doug and Caroline and the card was just so apt. It is of a lonely tree and Caroline mentioned that it reminded her of the lonely tree in Nettleden which Paul took photos of every year and turned it into a collage. Every 28th of the month from April 2018 till March 2019, between 11 and 11:30 in the morning, Paul would drive to Nettleden to take a photo of the tree. After patiently waiting for a year, he made a montage of the 12 photos, ordered 2 copies - 1 for us and 1 for Doug.
As an aside, Caroline contacted me a few months ago and asked if she could share a copy of the montage (and my email address) with Ronnie Wood - yes, 'the' Ronnie Wood, who she bumped into on a dog walk. I'm still waiting for that email, Ronnie!!
Paul may not have been the traditional 'romantic', but he was a man whose love for me was pure and unconditional. I may not have grand gestures, roses and chocolates to remember past Valentine's Days, but a lifetime full of everyday memories which he somehow made special, just with his smile, warmth and love.