On Wednesday morning I awoke before the alarm and laid in bed surfing my memories. I was in Miss Snell’s, second grade class. Since I was not very good with scissors, my shoebox valentine box looked shabby. I don’t recall whether it was a class rule, but every kid got a card from each member of our class.
Now, this required labor. We had to punch out a card, write our name on the back, stuff it in a miniature envelope and address it. Of course, there were only five choices of valentines, meaning at least 4 or 5 students would receive an identical card from me. I agonized about the one for Meice–the love of my life. I chose a bear holding a heart–it’s message: Be my valentine. I underlined “BE.”
When the time came to open our valentines, the boys were busily eating homeroom mom cupcakes, and we girls were searching for the one card from our love. I read and reread the nondescript message from Meice. I cherished it.
At 11:00 AM Wednesday, I went to my hair dresser appointment and in our conversation shared my memory. Her response: “My husband doesn’t like Valentine’s Day.”
Wow! Who doesn’t? “What is up with that, Addie?”
“Chip went to a small, rural elementary school in Iowa. Chip was short, with a slight build. When he opened his shoebox, he’d have one or two cards. Others would have many.”
Hmm. Hard to believe. Today Chip is a beefcake, highly successful entrepreneur. However, even at 50 years old, he is a broken little boy, due to the unconscious cruelty of other children. Had I known this story I would have sent Chip a box of chocolates!
Unfortunately, my Valentine’s Day got worse: Parkland, Florida. Seventeen children and faculty assassinated by a sick 19-year-old with an AK-15. My pleasant memories of February 14th have been shattered forever.
When is enough, enough?