Sam Cook: Taking stock of matters of the heart this Valentine's DayThis is going to be a good Valentine’s Day at our place. The reason is that a few days ago, we weren’t so sure Valentine’s Day would be so routine. My valentine suffered a “small to medium” stroke — even now the words seem crazy — last weekend. Her prognosis is excellent.
By: Sam Cook, Duluth News Tribune
This is going to be a good Valentine’s Day at our place.
Normally, I don’t get too worked up over the day. Oh, we always exchange cards and some small candies or gifts. When you’ve spent the formative years of your life tearing perforated valentines from a little book and stuffing them in boxes for your fellow second-graders, it’s a hard habit to break.
But this one will be different.
We have nothing special planned for Saturday. We’ll get up when we feel like it. I’ll make some coffee, although I don’t drink it myself. And we’ll have breakfast. Our daughter and future son-in-law will be around, and that will be good, too.
Sometime during the day, we’ll probably take the dog on a long walk and have a good talk as we listen to the nuthatches and the ravens.
The simplest things. We might listen to “A Prairie Home Companion” come evening, and we’ll enjoy a meal that’s been dropped off for us by friends.
The reason this will be so good is that a few days ago, we weren’t so sure Valentine’s Day would be so routine. My valentine suffered a “small to medium” stroke — even now the words seem crazy — last weekend. Her prognosis is excellent. I brought her home from the hospital on Thursday.
What you find, at times such as these, is that the depth and breadth of your friendships is truly remarkable. Lasagna on the doorstep. Heartfelt phone messages that lump up your throat and make your vision forecast partly cloudy. And people who show up to deliver hugs and to help you pass the hours of waiting and wondering.
Despite what any given 401(k) might declare at the moment, we are rich — all of us.
A grown daughter calls home and says, “Do you want me to come home?” And strong dad says, “Ah, I don’t think you need to come. We’re doing OK here.” Ten minutes later the phone rings, and she says, “I’m coming.” Her mere presence softens all the edges and bolsters your courage.
So, this is how we move on. We summon whatever we must from inside and we accept, as graciously as we can, what comes wrapping around us from the outside. We are humbled. We are scared. We will be OK.
Faith, hope and love, the book says. And the greatest of these is — well, I think we’ve known that all along.
Here’s hoping you have a great Valentine’s Day.
SAM COOK is a Duluth News Tribune columnist and outdoors writer. Reach him at (218) 723-5332 or email@example.com.