No chocolates, no flowers, not even a card.
I know you say to yourself “That’s OK, what I really wanted was a nap anyway.”
But you didn’t get that either.
The dishes still lay untouched in the sink. The baskets of unfolded clothes are stacked on top of each other like planes circling the airport.
Another bill lies unopened on the kitchen counter. You don’t even want to open it tonight so you just leave it there with the others—all unopened as well.
Your biggest hope for this Valentine’s night is that you won’t be changing your child’s sheets at 3am like last night.
You don’t even know what you feel anymore. Sometimes you wonder if you have any feeling left at all. The numbness just envelops you.
Your bed beckons but you don’t have the strength to get up and go to the bedroom, so you just collapse on the couch.
Instead of flowers and candies at work today, you got a call from your child’s therapist and a denial letter from your insurance company.
Instead of a romantic dinner out tonight for Valentines, you had French fries and gluten-free chicken chunks because for seven nights in a row that is the only thing your child with special needs would eat.
Somewhere they are dancing tonight. You aren’t even sure your shoes match.
But I watched you today. I watched you lay down your life over and over for that child. I watched you love unconditionally. I watched you give sacrificially.
I watched you give of yourself until there was nothing left of you to give.
I saw everything. I heard everything.
And when you cried yourself to sleep and muffled your tears in your pillow; well, I heard that too. In fact, I collected those tears and kept them in a bottle.
But I heard something else you didn’t.
I know how much you long to hear your son speak. I know the depths of your desires to just hear him say, “I love you mom.” I know how frustrating it is for both of you.
Well, tonight when he lay in his bed, I heard something you didn’t mom.
I heard him go on and on to me in his spirit about how much he loves you, he needs you, and how you are his world.
He and I speak of you all the time. While this world had robbed of him of his ability to communicate to you, he speaks clearly through his spirit to me. We share a language not of this world.
In that language known only to us, he tells me of his love for you all the time.
His body and mind may be disabled mom, but there are no disabled souls.
You are his valentine every day…not just today.
He loves you mom. You give him life. I like to think you got that from me.
I know a thing or two about unrequited, sacrificial love, and laying down your life.
And one other thing dear mom.
Never forget. Never doubt. Never ever forget or doubt.
I love you too my daughter. I chose you. I called you. I created you.
My eyes saw your unformed body when I knit you together in your mother’s womb. Your frame was not hidden from me. And you and your child are fearfully and wonderfully made.
I gave you this life because you are strong enough to live this life.
I cherish you. I’ll never leave you. I’ll never forsake you. I will never stop loving you. You are never alone.
Be my valentine.