When was the last time someone sent you a Valentine’s card? I’m talking about a real one; one you can hold and keep under your pillow; a romantic greeting promising love endless and unfading.
Are they sending those anymore? Or have we settled for virtual romance?
As a young colegiala, I used to lie awake nights wondering what my Valentine’s Day would be like. There was always a bunch of roses or a box of Whitman’s Sampler. And a card. That was most important. What would the mushy message say?
Laughable? Yes. But now I look back with deep nostalgia on those silly, innocent times when happiness revolved around a Valentine’s greeting.
I don’t know anyone who has not thrilled to the words: “Will you be my Valentine?” And later on be swept away believing “you are my forever Valentine.”
Today even after learning that “walang forever,” my memories can bring back the giddy feeling, if only for a few minutes.
Reality has a way of spoiling the moment. But what the heck, it was good while it lasted.
My Miss Universe sidelights
I slept Monday morning and almost missed the pageant. I made no bets but was very pleased with the results.
Colombia was stunning. And Haiti was a crowd favorite. But France’s Iris Mittenaere had that air of confidence. She seemed unaffected by the fierce competition and looked the most relaxed, as if she was having the time of her life on that stage.
Our own Maxine Medina was radiantly beautiful and a more than worthy contender. She was one of the last six, and has much to be proud about.
The chances for a back-to-back victory were slim. Besides, that dreaded Q and A portion at the end was crucial, and the nerve-wracking 30-second deadline imposed could spell success or doom.
Pia Wurtzbach’s last walk as Miss Universe 2015 was storybook dramatic. She was gorgeous. I thought her gown was a bit much, didn’t you? I have a feeling she was not too comfortable in it. Whatever. She looked regal. She dazzled!
But my overall, hands-down all-time favorite was Steve Harvey!
An old friend of mine wrote to her children. She is a widow, almost in her 80s, remarkably healthy and with all her wits about her. She reluctantly gave me permission to use her words.
The letter runs several pages long. Most of it is personal stuff. I have chosen a few lines that hit home.
She starts: “To my children who I know love me, and whom I love with all my heart and soul.
“Where have the years gone?
“Time was when it was I who took care of you, who made sure you had food on the table, a roof overhead, and soft clean beds to sleep in at night. Every day I packed your school lunches, helped you with homework and listened to your stories.
“I always warned you to choose your friends carefully; that some were good for you and others were not. You didn’t understand. I know at times you hated me. But I risked it. You needed a mama, not another friend. You didn’t always listen. You were hurt. And I cried with you. Remember?
“Each time you were sick or frightened, I held you until all was well. When you were little, you hung on my every word. It does not seem that long ago when your very next breath seemed to completely depend on me. Or so I thought.
“Today all has been reversed. You grew up and I have grown old. The shoe is on the other foot.
“This is a strange situation, and it takes a while to get used to it. I think this came suddenly, but I know it happened slowly, day after day, year after year.
“Sometimes I forget that my life is not what it used to be. You are different, and so am I.
“I wonder why you don’t ask me questions anymore; you don’t tell me your troubles. Is it that you don’t want to worry me? Or maybe I no longer have the answers. And I ask myself how did you all get so smart. There was a time when I thought you couldn’t chew gum and walk at the same time. I was so wrong.
“As you grew up I boasted to all my friends that you were doing things on your own. I was proud; even relieved that maybe now I could do my thing. I had plans that we would do that together. Then I discovered we were in different words.
“When did things start changing for us? When did you stop depending on me? Why did I teach you so well?
“Growing old can be sad. It is often scary.
“I know I can be obstinate, that I am set in my ways. This comes with age. I was always self-sufficient. It is now difficult and painfully humbling to feel helplessly indebted.
“So when I speak about my present circumstances, it is just a comment. Do not misunderstand.
“Please believe that I am deeply grateful. I cannot thank you enough.
“Promise me that if one day I begin to wander off to la la land you will be patient. Let me see you. If I start forgetting, please tell me who you are; and who I am. Talk to me. Tell me about Jesus.
“Thank you for giving me your time; for knowing that I need someone to reassure me, to keep me safe and protected, and to hold me steady.