A Forgotten Valentine’s Day

By Nancy Flory Published on February 14, 2020

It hit me as I watched my husband walk into our bedroom while I was getting ready for work this morning. He held a gold bag with gold tissue peeking out of the top. “Happy Valentine’s Day,” he told me. My heart sank. I’d completely forgotten.

I didn’t get a present or a card. I immediately felt ashamed. “I’m so sorry I forgot!” I might as well admit it. No sense in saying, “Oh, you’ll get your present when I get home!” He knew. I could see it on his face. “It’s okay,” he said quietly.

Valentine’s Day is D-day

It’s not like I didn’t know Valentine’s Day was coming up. But studying for my last qualifying exam in my PhD program erased pretty much anything else off my mind. I’ve spent the better part of the previous 18 months preparing for the exams. Valentine’s Day is D-day.

Still, the twinge of guilt settled into my stomach as I reached in the bag and pulled out a jewelry box. Inside the box lay a diamond heart necklace. “Oh boy,” I thought. “I really messed up!” I told him it was pretty and said I was sorry again. Later I texted him. I asked him if there was anything he needed for his car. Or anything he wanted. I was grasping, but it was all I could do. He told me not to worry. “Just relax and get in a good place for your test. I’ll be praying for you.”

Blessed Beyond Words

I’m blessed beyond words. Caring and praying people surround me. Not just my family, but school and work colleagues. Just this morning a school colleague posted a prayer request for me on Facebook. Work colleagues have prayed with me for a successful exam. It’s obvious friends and loved ones apply Philippians 2:4 much better than I do: “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (RSV).

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I’ll be thankful when the exam is over. It’s been a long time coming. A long time of putting my education before other, arguably more important, things. I think of Daddy playing with Caleb at the park, or riding bikes without me. Days at the pool I’ve missed.

I pray the wonderful people in my life will have patience as I navigate the next step in my academic career. For those I’ve seemingly forgotten or special dates I’ve missed, I am truly sorry. I thank God for the opportunity to get this degree, but I thank God more for the people in my life who make it so much easier and infinitely better.


Nancy Flory is an associate editor at The Stream. You can follow her @NancyFlory3, and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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