Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Day I Usually Avoid...But Couldn't This Time

For today's post we are going to take a break from our regularly scheduled programming (hah now we are on MandyTV!) and check out a story that I couldn't resist sharing. The following post comes courtesy of my dear friend Callie. Forewarning-it's an adorable Valentine's Day story. Normally I won't touch Valentine's Day with a 10 foot pole because frankly I consider my birthday more of a holiday than Valentine's Day is (that may sound egocentric but seriously shouldn't every day be a celebration of your "Valentine"?) but this one brought tears to my eyes. I hope you are as touched as I was. 

The last few months I've spent with my new boyfriend hadn't been easy by any account. A rough first semester of graduate school, being sick, and most recently the death of my Grandpa. My Grandpa and I were very close, and he and my Grandma had a wonderful, love-filled 67 years together. They were the reason that I came to  believe in this oddity called true and everlasting love…not that any guy I had met ever fell into that category, but I have always held onto the belief that it exists because of them. My boyfriend had met my family, including my Grandpa, right before Poppa passed. He was constantly there for me and my family through this event until the end. The day before we lost Poppa, he drove me to my hometown to help my parents prepare for it and so I could say goodbye (as there was no way I was fit to drive, especially on the interstate). He hugged my Grandma almost as many times as I did during it all.

When it comes to a new relationship, holidays-- particularly Valentine's Day, are slightly stress-inducing. I've never been a fan of Valentine's Day, primarily because I hate materialistic holidays. And, okay, yes there's always been a mild of twinge of "single jealousy". Valentine's Day was actually more of a family holiday for us, it was my grandparents favourite holiday, and my parents and I always did nice things for each other. It hadn't occurred to me that this year it would be hard with Poppa gone, especially for my Grandma. 

Anyway, I hadn't wanted my boyfriend to do anything extravagant. We had planned on doing dinner, but that was about it as we both had work to get finished. He had stopped by my house after class, where we made plans for the evening--after the long debate of who was choosing the restaurant, how I wished there was a good Italian joint like back home, etc. I was pretty excited, I mean I had never had a "real" Valentine's Day  before. A little while later, my boyfriend rings to say he's changing our plans. My heart immediately sank, he had been extraordinarily busy with school so I assumed it was a "raincheck". Instead, he had a strange giddy tone to his voice, telling me to make dinner reservations somewhere in Cheyenne (my hometown). Utterly confused, I asked why he wanted to drive 90 miles round trip for dinner..it was ridiculous and no restaurant is worth that, seriously. He refused to tell me, merely said to call him back when I had a plan. Several restaurants and calls later, slightly exasperated, I rang him with the plans.

"Babe, WHY do you want to go to Cheyenne?!"

"I feel guilty, my conscience is getting to me."

"Um….why? Is this about the restaurant? I only meant that Italian sounded good."

"No…I just feel guilty."

"Why? What's going on?"

His tone was reminiscent of a little kid who had a secret they wanted to share, and I was no where near ready for this reply. Honestly, I'd never have guessed it in a thousand years.

"I …got your grandma flowers because she's short a valentine this year…and I wanted to give them to her."

Almost dropping the phone, I was struggling to keep the tears out of my voice as I searched for words. Here is a guy who keeps a stoic face on most of the time, I was almost unsure that I had heard him correctly. For someone who also hates Valentine's Day, he had already been extraordinarily sweet and cutesy all day, so this just knocked me completely over. As soon as we hung up I started crying; I had no idea that someone could be so thoughtful. Not only was he doing something wonderful for me, his gesture would mean more to my Grandma than any flowers or cards. He had remembered what all came out of my mouth as I babbled through tears after seeing Poppa for the last time: how he loved my grandma, the things he did for her, how they treated each other every day.  

So that's exactly what we did. We loaded up and headed out, roses in tow. Holding his hand all the way to Cheyenne, I couldn't help but look at him in a new light, and have a whole new appreciation for this incredible man's heart. My grandma was definitely surprised, very touched, and nearly cried herself. She called me a few days later saying how amazing my boyfriend is and that she adores him. Even now writing this I cannot wrap my mind around how sincere and thoughtful that gesture was. Here's a holiday where people expect their admirers to dote on them and flowers are a requirement. And then here's a man who reaches out to his girlfriend's recently widowed grandmother. If that doesn't show a celebration of love and caring, I really have no idea what does. 

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