The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The Forever Valentine

By Elaine Slater Reese

Love may last forever - relationships may not. Love is an emotion - a feeling. It can be a high - it can be a low. Valentine's Day is geared to the chocolates, flowers, beautiful cards. It has little to do with the real nitty-gritty of life and love. The ten year old snuggled in her grandma's arms and begged," Please tell me another story, Grandma! Valentine's Day is February 14th. I know Grandpa was your valentine. But did you ever have another one?"

We were both teenagers. But it did not take us long to realize that this was a serious relationship. We shared our fears, our hopes, our dreams. My parents were determined that in the future I would graduate from college. He went off to the service. I promised to be waiting when he returned. His letters arrived daily telling how much he missed me, how much he loved me, and promising a wonderful life together.

Then one day, much to my surprise, there he was standing right in front of me - and the other fellow I was talking to and laughing with. At the time, it was nothing - just two friends having a nice time. But I saw the look of horror and betrayal on my loved one's face. He shouted at me. He said words that to this day still hurt. His anger turned to tears.

He refused to let me explain. And then he walked away. I knew he would be back. And he was, but to my horror, he was at my door with a box. He shoved the box into my arms. It contained all my photos, all the keepsakes of times we had shared together. Again he would not listen. It wasn't long before I read the notice in the paper of his wedding.

Time passes. Life somehow always goes on. For many years we never saw each other again. Then one day somehow there we were unexpectedly alone in the same room.

It only took a moment for each of us to realize all those feelings from years before were still alive. But we immediately each made a verbal commitment to our families. It was so wonderful to catch up on the long years passed. But we both knew there were words that needed to be said.

I started first. "There was never anyone else but you at that time. You didn't give me a chance to explain what you thought you saw or what you thought I did." As he held my hand so tightly, there seemed to be a blazing fire between us.

He apologized for having never given me another chance. We looked into each other's eyes. EVERYTHING HAD CHANGED OVER THE YEARS - AND NOTHING HAD CHANGED OVER THE YEARS.

He will ALWAYS be my Special Valentine. And Dear Granddaughter, never forget - God taught us of the greatest love. He gave His son Jesus to provide a way for each of us to get to Heaven. 1 st Corinthians 13:13 tells us "NOW ABIDES FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE BUT THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE.