It’s been 22 Valentine’s Day holidays that have been spent without my dad. Losing someone on a holiday is an anomaly because once the initial grief and mourning have passed, life inevitably continues, and when the holiday rolls around you struggle with celebration or remembrance.
For years I didn’t acknowledge Valentine’s Day, I felt like it was a day that I couldn’t celebrate or it would be offensive to my father’s memory. After having Audrey, I decided that I wasn’t going to carry that on to her. Although it has been 22 years, when the anniversary of his death comes up, it’s always melancholic. But I’m determined to lose the sadness and manifest it into a day (albeit commercialized) to celebrate love and memories. Audrey deserves all the bells and whistles that comes with the commercialized holiday. Children have a beautiful innocence that transforms even the hardest days.
This year, I celebrated a day early with Audrey by taking her to a Sweetheart Party at Gymboree. She made adorable Valentine’s crafts for her Daddy and got dressed up in a cute red dress. I bought her a few Valentine’s day books and have been explaining to her that Valentine’s Day is about love and how much we love her. I am determined for our little family to make new traditions and celebrate any and every holiday we can. My celebration doesn’t mean that I no longer mourn my dad’s passing or wish that he was here to celebrate with us; it means life has evolved and so have I. I’ve grown to know that I don’t need to call off work, lay in bed, and look through old pictures crying. I don’t need to watch the clock for 3:00 to roll around, and relive the memory from the dreaded phone call we received. I don’t need to avoid being out on Valentine’s day and ugly crying at all the happiness around me. I can be grateful and happy for the gorgeous daughter I have, the baby I am currently carrying, and the most loving and devoted husband I could ask for. We can celebrate our family, our love, my dad’s memory, and the cheesy heart shaped cupcakes and candies we eat all at the same time. Wishing you all a Happy Valentine’s Day!!!