This is Valentine the dog. He is special to me because he was an important part of starting my relationship with Alan.
In late 2005, Alan saw me at school as we were both picking up our kids after work and asked me out. I said I was interested but it was too early, since I was still working through a nasty divorce. So we kept talking when we ran into each other and even talked on the phone once or twice. When Valentine’s day (2006) came along, I picked up Valentine the dog at the store on an impulse and gave it to Alan when I ran into him again at school. I wanted him to know I was thinking of him. He said later that it signaled to him that I was interested, which I was.
So a few days later he gave me this bottle of perfume. He said it was perfect because I was beautiful and the perfume is called Beautiful. He invited me to his house to give it to me, and we had our first kiss.
It was still too early to date, but we threw caution to the wind and started a relationship. I really only wanted a fling, to be honest, but he didn’t. He had been a single dad for 5 years at that time and was looking for someone to settle down with. And when I understood this, I decided to give it a try instead of just looking for a fling. And I fell madly in love. I never wanted anyone else after that.
We got married in July 2007. We took a short honeymoon in Helen, Georgia, in the mountains where we could do short hikes and enjoy the quaint village. We bought this Indian wedding vase while we were on our honeymoon. One side represents the groom, and the other represents the bride. The looped handle represents the unity achieved in marriage, and the space created within the loop represents the circle of life created by the couple. During the wedding ceremony, the groom and bride each drank from the vase to symbolize the simultaneous duality and unity in marriage.
Our marriage was one that grew over time. We loved each other tremendously when we married, but in more recent years, we recognized that our love had grown. He even said to me, not too long ago, that he knew that I loved him more now than the day we married. And that was true, and it still is.