Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



All of My Friends

Saturday, February 2, 2013

My First Valentine


My Dad is nearly 88 years old and has been ill for some time.
I’m here making him eat and I think he is feeling a little better.
Thank you to everyone who has expressed concern. Your thoughts and prayers are definitely helping!
Look at that sweet face . . .
I was out yesterday, at Dad’s local grocery, buying foods that would hopefully tempt an invalid.
Yummy things like plump chicken breasts. Crisp, fresh vegetables. Packets of rice and spices.
I so love buying food!
I walked past a display of Valentine goodies.
And stopped.
There were several heart-shaped boxes.
 Beautifully, elegantly - decorated boxes.
Cute, colourful boxes.
Boxes with favourite cartoon characters printed on the lids.
Dozens of kinds to choose from.
Somewhere in the middle was a stack of boxes.
Simple.
Red.
They reminded me of something.
A gift from my Dad on a Valentine’s Day many, many years ago.
Dad always gave my Mom a heart-shaped box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day.
Always.
It was the one special day of the year he was confident in his gift-giving abilities.
The year I turned six was even more special for me.
It was the year that Dad first included me in the gift giving.
At breakfast that morning, he handed my mom a beautifully decorated large box of chocolates.
To much oohing and ahhing from us kids.
Then he smiled at me and handed me a box.
A small, heart-shaped box of chocolates all my own.
I stared at him.
Then at the box.
For me?
All for me?
He nodded. “For my littlest Valentine,” he said.
I jumped up and gave him a hug. Then snatched the box and fled.
The chocolates inside were gone faster than you can blink.
But the box remained.
 Because I like boxes.
For years, it held my smallest treasures.
Then, when I moved out, it remained with all the little keepsakes of my childhood . . .
I didn't mention the Valentine's display to my Dad. I’m thought that when the time came, I would just go and buy one of those boxes for him.
Last night, as we were sitting visiting, he asked me to get him his little sewing kit.
I went to fetch it.
And discovered that his sewing kit was my little chocolate box.
I held it in my hands and stared at it.
I was suddenly six years old again.
Receiving my first Valentine’s gift from my first Valentine.
Such a sweet, sweet memory.
I’m here to help my Dad.
But really, he is helping me.
A little the worse for the wear,
but it is over 50 years old! Like me . . .

16 comments:

  1. I always recommend potato soup .. easy to make and easy to digest..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, GGH52! He will definitely be getting that!

      Delete
  2. What a touching beautiful memory and I'm sure you are helping your Dad--daughters have a way of getting their dads to do what they want them to do--without their dad's realizing it................. Keep up the good work!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Shirley! For all you do and have done!

      Delete
  3. And here I am all misty eyed again so I can't see the keyboard. You tell your Dad to eat every single thing you put in front of him. Delores says.

    ReplyDelete
  4. LOVE THIS, LOVE YOU, LOVE YOUR FAMILY, LOVE YOUR WRITING ~ and indeed "prayers up" for your daddy's health! your friend Kaye ~ @grammakaye on twitter. (Yeppers, I know, sounds pretty "mushy", but is truth)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Kaye! Mushy is very, very good! Especially when it comes to Daddys.

      Delete
  5. He is still taking care of his 'littlest Valentine'. What a sweet sweet post.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm with Delores! I can hardly see to type. What a BEAUTIFUL story. Truly no coincidence in your thoughts on that box and then you finding it in your hands again. Just beautiful. Goes to show me that whatever I say or do for my kids.....stays with them forever and ever. This got me thinking....

    Thanks for sharing. Glad to hear that the two of you are enjoying your time together.

    ReplyDelete
  7. My eyes are blurry, too! What a beautiful moment your dad gave you, and how lovely to see your little box again. I think your dad will feel better just having you there, and might feel more like eating when he has your good company as well as your good cooking. I'm hoping so.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Awwww, how incredibly sweet! I can just imagine your face as your dad's "littlest Valentine". Just love your stories!

    ReplyDelete

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