Two years ago it had been ten days since Mark died. For those ten days I had somehow been able to see his clothes in the closet and still walk in and function…but not on that day. On Valentine’s Day, for some reason, the moment I walked in and saw his clothes, I crumbled to the floor unable to hold myself up. The pain of the loss of his physical presence was unbearable.

This year I find myself in our closet again. Now going through his things piece by piece as I decide what to keep for the boys, and what will go into the estate sale I’m having. The memory of two years ago is near. Sometimes the decisions are a chore, sometimes painful, sometimes I’m numb. Sometimes I can’t even make a decision and have to go away and come back. But I know I will get it done.

Valentine’s Day was started in honor of St. Valentine. He was a crusader for love where love wasn’t allowed. He fought for the right to marry in a country where it was illegal. While Mark and my marriage wasn’t perfect, it was wonderful in many ways. And… the ‘not’ perfect part made it real.

Two years later, instead of looking for love from a man, I see it everywhere. In the leaves blowing in the wind. In my children’s sparkling eyes. In my dog’s tail wag. In a stranger’s smile. I even see love within other places not so predictable.

Love somehow shines out of anger, fear, doubt and darkness. There is nowhere it is not.

Life is very different now than it was two years ago. It is more present, more sensory, more alive. There is much more love all around. Or at least I now know how to see, feel, smell, taste and hear it.

Thank you Mark. I love you.
Happy Valentine’s Day to the man who asked me to marry him on Valentine’s Day ten years ago.

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