Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and this is the poem I would send to my Valentine, my husband.
I’ll always be the one who looks at you, And sees you in a fond and loving light; I’ll always know that you’re the one for me, Because when we’re together, life is right.
You’ll always be my love–my hero, too, The person I can count on constantly. You satisfy me like no other could; I’m ecstatic that it’s you who makes us “We.”
I’m always thankful for the day we met; I love you, and I’m happy you are mine. I’ll always feel this joy, this bliss, this peace, If you’ll be my love forever, Valentine.
By Joanna Fuchs
After thirty-seven years of marriage, lung cancer took him from me seven years ago. He was fifty-nine when he went to heaven.
The passing of time does not make the pain go away. Every holiday, birthday, and anniversary brings memories.
His wedding ring sits next to mine on my left hand. I can’t take it off.
The diamond studs he gave me ten years ago for an anniversary gift are still in my ears. I can’t take them out.
I play music by Paul Mauriat every morning, the music he wanted to hear on his way home from the ER. I was driving my car, and the CDs were not in the vehicle.
His blue urn decorated with white cherry blossoms sits on a table in the living room corner. A framed picture of the two of us on a train to the Grand Canyon, one of the last trips we took together, sits next to the urn. He is the handsome boyish-looking man I refused to date because I thought he was much younger than me.
His fishing cap covers the top of the urn. A medal has “Ohio Dad” engraved, the university our daughter graduated from, with her MBA this past May. He would be proud. Our wedding picture sits on the table next to the urn.
Every night I turn on the lamp on the table so that he will have some light. I say good night and good morning every day. When I make brownies, I leave one for him. I once told him that I would not create an altar and leave him food and drink. His mother wanted to install a Buddhist altar. I refused. Now, I find myself taking care of him in the afterlife.
I talk to him and ask him to protect Lisa and me.
My Japanese husband never said he “loved” me. He would say that he “liked me a lot and for a very long time.” “Dai” (literally, “big”) is added as the prefix, “daisuki desu” (大好きです).
“Aishiteru” (愛してる) is another expression for showing affection. Japanese couples have a responsibility to take care of their elders, their partners, and their children. My husband never expressed his love for his brothers or parents by hugging or kissing them. He never held my hand in public. He didn’t have to because I knew he loved me.
Now he is gone. No more hugs or kisses before going to bed. No more “Aishiteru.” Just silence as I lay my head down on my pillow and thank him for what he has left me, a life with no worries.
Sumio, Thank you. I wish you were here with me.
Happy Valentine’s Day!