This card came back to me recently, with a handful of old photographs.
I made it for my grandmother, Grandma Florence, about thirty-five years ago. She had been ill, and was just coming home from the hospital in mid-February. The front of the card had a poem I’d written:
We searched the stores through and through
To find a Valentine for you.
We found “I love you”s and “Please be Mine”s
But they just don’t make “Get Well” Valentines,
And none of them said what we wanted to say
So we decided to tell you in a different way…
And there, inside the card, is my little family, arms outstretched, offering a big hug.
My little family.
I don’t think anyone embarks on the adventure of a marriage, ever imagining it will end.
We don’t have children imagining them hundreds or thousands of miles away, with troubles and difficulties you can’t simply fix with a kiss or a band-aid.
We don’t form friendships thinking of the end of those bonds.
We don’t take in dogs or cats or even short-lived gerbils imagining their demise.
Endings always take us by surprise.
If we knew the pain of change, transition, death…or, knowing it, if we allowed ourselves to dwell on it, I think we’d never allow ourselves the joy of new beginnings.