Early last Valentine's morning was the day of Maggie's catastrophic event when she stopped breathing and her heart stopped. She never regained consciousness and died the next evening. But Valentine's Day is the day we lost her.
Valentine's Day. A day set aside for love. I suppose it all makes sense in some macabre way. Everybody loved Maggie and Maggie loved them right back. She owned any room she entered because people were drawn to her exuberant joy and her obvious love of life.
But the day will be hard for us. I am back there over and over again every time I see the garish decorations - the ones Maggie loved.
We had Valentines all prepared for school. Those chocolate hearts wrapped in red foil from Sees Candies were for all the adults and the little boxes of candy hearts for all the kids. The chocolate hearts are now in the freezer - but I know we will never eat them. The boxes of candy hearts with sayings like "Oh you kid" and "I love you" are up in the cabinet.
A card Maggie and I made for Steve sat on the sideboard in the dining room for months. It just said "Dad, you're my Superman" and there was a superman sucker next to it. I don't know what happened to the sucker. Last time I saw it it looked very old and faded. The card we still have.
What does one do with things like this? They are so packed with meaning for us. They make us sad and remind us of the worst day of our lives. But we can't throw them away. Not yet anyway. Strange, isn't it?