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In third grade,kirby hanson gave me a valentine with a picture of a fuzzy lamb that said "i love ewe." he had carefully printed " i really do" and surrounded his name with x's and o's. My heart pounded, my cheeks reddened. I sat at my desk undone by true love. Then i found out the had given the same card to five other girls. Valentine's day hasn't been the same since.
In high school i dated a guy who conveniently dumped me right before valentine's day. I got back together with him only to be dumped the week before Christmas. I guess he had gift-avoidance issues.
On our first valentine's day as a married couple, my husband, Derek, came home with a heart-shaped balloon. no card. I cried. He still gets a little anxious each February. And no wonder.
After that shaky start, Derek has never forgotten to present me with a card and usually chocolates or flowers, too. No more balloons.
As i slip into bed after a late-night writing session, his muffled snores fill the room. He scoots over and embraces me as he has done night after night for twenty years. I remember how he held me just like this the night my dad died. I knew i could survive my loss with Derek beside me.
I remember the night we came home from the hospital where our newborn son lay critically ill. I had held it together for two days, but the empty cradle at the foot our bed was too much. Derek held me. His tears mingled with mine, and i knew no matter what we had to face, we would face it together.
I like a mushy card
I adore See's chocolates.
But the faithful love of the man emitting earth-shaking snores on the pillow next to mine is the valentine of all.
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