by Kevin Burton
How shock-to-the-system, how literary thriller, how puppy dog energy, how dawn of discovery, and can it be, acceptance, the late-life fact that every day is Valentine’s Day.
No. Didn’t say that Valentine’s Day is an everyday day. I said every day is Valentine’s Day.
Every day is an envelope, a card sent, a card accepted and received. Open it. What does it say?
It’s red and white and pink. It’s every color, it’s beyond color.
And every night is prom night.
That’s what happens when you find the right one. Finally.
My parents’ marriage was a pure disaster. I saw enough of it. My brother being five years older than I caught the brunt of it. He and I joked at times that our future marriages would be good because we knew everything not to do.
Two people more unsuited for each other one would be hard pressed to find.
So there’s that family dysfunction, then my own. I grew up having a freakish appearance and that as an adult, parked my confidence level way down there close to zero in the dating arena.
My emotional stomach was constantly tied up in not just one knot, but two. This is how I slinked around the planet for years.
If you want to summon up deep, meaningful Valentine’s sentiments in a song, are you turning to Hall & Oates? Probably not, but consider:
Their song “Did It In A Minute” contains the lyric “everybody always laughs at love but what they want is to be proven wrong.”
And that’s it.
This not exceptionally articulate band has boiled down maybe 70 percent of the 20th-21st-century, American middle-class, boy-girl experience into 14 words.
I recognized that lyric as a main storyline for my life the instant I heard it.
Valentine’s Day? It was a spirit crusher for me for years. As much as Christmas opened my heart each year, Valentine’s Day stifled it.
Here I will spare you quite a lot of gory details, except to say that God had a plan for me and for my future wife. As I lived it, I was beyond clueless to it.
The band Rascal Flatts sums it up nicely in a song I’m sure you know.
“I couldn’t see how every sign pointed me straight to you. That every long lost dream led me to where you are. Others who broke my heart, they were like Northern Stars, pointing me on my way into your loving arms.”
“This much I know is true, that God blessed the broken road that led me straight to you.”
Had I sensed the broken road, I would have assessed it wrongly and messed everything up. You can take that to the bank.
This was God saving me from my own stupidity. It’s like when you put bumpers on a bowling lane so you can’t throw a gutter ball no matter what you do.
You talk about out of the wilderness and into the promised land. This is why I say every day is Valentine’s Day. Shame on me if I ever, ever forget that.
Incidentally, Valentine’s Day doesn’t always look the way card companies depict it.
I mentioned Thursday that if I could write Jeannette’s name across the sky I would do it. But in the real world certain practicalities emerge. It’s much more useful to her if I provide her with clean socks and take out the trash.
I hate it that life is sending us hurtling toward a time when there will be no more Kevin and Jeannette, when death will make us part. The Bible says in heaven “they neither marry, nor are given in marriage” (Matt. 22: 30 KJV). I wish this could last forever.
But my Father in heaven, who guided me to the place to finally see what treasure I have here, is fully capable of giving K and J exactly what we need in the next life. I can’t begin to fathom it on this side of eternity nor will I try.
But for now, for this moment in time, I have my bride, a true dream come true, and every day is Valentine’s Day.