Today is Valentine's Day. You're headed to Fargo today for tests and scans to be done this afternoon, and then your chemo treatment tomorrow. But even if you had been in town, we wouldn't be celebrating Valentine's Day, because you don't "believe" in Valentine's Day. You think it is all a ploy by the candy, flower and card companies to make a ton of money. (Not to mention jewelry stores, lingerie stores, restaurants, etc.)
And that's fine. But I wanted to tell you that I still believe in Valentine's Day. I want you to know how much you mean to me. You do so much for me in so many ways. To name just a few things, both large and small, you've always:
Started my car for me every cold winter morning.
Helped out with household chores, like the dishes and laundry.
Bought the big bags of dog food that I can't carry.
Remembered to buy toilet paper, paper towels and paper plates.
Shoveled or blown the snow in winter and mown the lawn in the summer.
Had a positive attitude to balance my negative attitude.
Had a great sense of humor.
Been a terrific dad.
Not yelled at me for spending too much money.
Loved dogs, Christmas, sitting out on the deck on a summer night and reading books, as much as I do.
You've comforted me when I've lost family members, pulled my car out of a snow-filled ditch, got up with baby Kristen when she cried during the night, supported me when I've quit a job, consoled me when I've lost a job, helped me get through the loss of our home by fire, calmed me down when I'm flipping out over something, brought me soup when I was sick, done a million kind things for me.
I didn't realize just how much I counted on you and took you for granted until you got sick.
Until you stopped cooking, I didn't know how much I would miss our weekend "gourmet" meals accompanied by a nice red wine. I am craving your "Martha Stewart" pork chops, your steak with peppercorn sauce, your spicy chicken. In fact, I miss sharing any old everyday meal with you.
After your first chemo, when you had that lousy cold/flu, I still called upon you when the oil light came on in my car. I've always counted on you to deal with car issues 'cause I hate doing it myself.
Until you felt unwell and were crabby, I didn't realize that you are almost always a sunny, happy, pleasant person to be around.
I even miss your snoring since you found out you get a better night's rest sleeping in the recliner or on the couch.
You're a good guy. I'm glad I've had you in my life for over 41 years. I hope you're around a long time to come; that you get well so things get back to normal. I won't care (much) if you leave the newspapers in the bathroom and the clothes in the laundry room, forget to wipe out the microwave, control the TV remote, watch war and hunting shows, wear your Elmer Fudd hunting hat, not want to go to movies with me, insist on keeping the ratty old recliner and leave your mail, papers and assorted crap scattered all over the dining room table and three pairs of cowboys boots lying around to trip me up.
And when your CAT scan comes back clear and you can eat again, I'm taking you out for a big filet mignon.
Happy Valentine's Day