A Valentine Gift From Me to You


Carol was in a wheelchair. She was living in one of the nicer nursing homes in her hometown. Her children lived less than an hour away, and it was alright with her. She wanted to be close to where she grew up. This old town held so much for her.

Memories of her growing up on the big house on the hill, just outside of town. The big oak tree on the circle, where her husband Bud had proposed to her. The boarded up church where she had said her wedding vows. The quiet cemetery where her beloved rested; waiting for her.

She had always been a housewife. The two of them were poor and because she knew the good Lord would bless her for being kind, she was always searching for someone in need. It may not have been  much she did, but it gave her great joy.

She had been living at Golden Oaks for nearly three years. She knew everyone of her neighbors, and kept up with the changes of nurses and staff. She volunteered to help set tables for mealtimes. She poured the water for each person, until her hands became so shaky, she ended up getting more water on herself than in the glass.

She was involved with all the Bingo games and she could be heard singing every Sunday when the different churches came to visit and preach.  She had nice people that helped care for her. Each night the CNA would help her pick out her clothes, and each morning a gal would help her get dressed and fix her hair.

Carol knew her time was coming to an end. She noticed the little things like being a little weaker, not being able to stand as well. It was alright with her. She had a good life and God had blessed her so many times.

It was the day after Christmas and she had been looking at the new year calendar. Valentine’s Day was coming. She smiled as she remembered the years her Bud had given her an extra rose for each year they were together.

She went to the social director and asked if they could speak for a minute. Ever since that little meeting Carol had been busy collecting ribbons, and feathers, construction paper, and whatever she could get her hands on. The director brought some of her own things in from home and handed them to Carol to help her fulfill  her wish.

The day had arrived. It was Valentine’s Day. Carol got  up real early. It wasn’t even showing a bit of daylight yet. Arrangements had been made by the staff to help her get dressed in red, and to put red lipstick on.

When she was all set, she wheeled herself out to the little room off of the dining room. There in a big, rectangle box, laid all of her items. She laid the box on  her lap and wheeled herself to each place setting.

There she placed a red, foiled paper on the table. On top of that, she sat a clear, small vase with a red, curled ribbon attached at the neck. Inside each vase was a red flower she had constructed out of crepe paper and red feathers. On each plate, she laid a card, where inside she had inscribed a Valentine note individualized for each neighbor.

When she had finished each table she went over and turned the dimmer light down just a bit. She wheeled herself over to the record player and turned on the song, My Funny Valentine, by Ella Fitzgerald.

When her neighbors started coming in for breakfast, she could hear clapping and words of joy. Some of the residents who could still walk fairly well, grabbed a partner and began dancing to the music.

As she sat watching the happy faces, she wished her Bud a Happy Valentine’s Day and began the journey of going to see what she could do to help get breakfast on the tables.

Written by,

Terry Shepherd





Happy Valentine Weekend

It’s almost that time again. Valentine’s Day. For some it is the most romantic day of the year. For others, it is the only day of the year that it screams, you are alone with no Valentine.

That means no card, no flowers, no candies, no red, velvet box. I used to think this way, but I don’t do that so much anymore. I see the messes inside relationships at times. I see partners where equality doesn’t exist. I figure it this way. The only problems I really have to face, are the ones I create myself. Anything else, I can make the final ruling.

But, I do want to smile big for me and for you for this Valentine’s Day. For you, have a wonderful Valentine’s Day. I hope it brings you all you want it to. For me, I am grateful I woke up. I see the beautiful snow falling. I can still walk today, and I can still function.

So raise those heart-shaped glasses and let’s toast to each other, for happiness, love, peace, and joy!


valentine doll


Valentine’s Day

Roses are red

Violets are blue

Did you know

That I love you?

Remember saying this when you were a young girl, waiting to fall in love?


roses_bouquet_3518Today, most of us reading this post have grown-up. Some have loved, lost loves or not found love. Valentine’s Day isn’t what we had thought it would be for ever and ever. The next poem below is one that I wrote for all of the rest who know what it is like to be alone on the Lover’s day of the year.

Valentine’s Day

I dreamed of you for many years

You broke my heart and I shed tears

My heart is broken yet today

When Jesus took you far away

Then there was the one man of all

I never met him but I didn’t  fall

Woman and woman, man and man

Love feels the same in love’s plan

But because I have these feelings deep

And I don’t have a mate with me to see

I think that I will pass on cards

I think I will push this holiday far

To all those lucky enough to be

In a relationship for all the world to see

I wish you Happy Valentine’s day

I hope you are happy in every way.

Written by,

Terry Shepherd


Be My Valentine

Magical, mystical

Heart beats a flutter

Dancing, prancing

Words all a stutter

Love in the air

Snowflakes on my tongue

Spinning, swirling

My soul is yours to wear

Valentine, my sweet valentine

Come dance with thee

Let’s soar to the skies

Just you and me.

Written by,

Terry Shepherd








My Valentine

Counting down the days before her baby came back and into her arms. Just thinking of him, the picture in her mind brought a smile wide as the ocean and dimples as deep as a baby’s cheeks.

They sat side by side in elementary school. In high school he asked her for a date. The two knew they were meant to be. He had seen her fall and scrape  her knees. She had seen him missing his two front teeth.

They danced their first Junior High party together. They sneaked their first kiss under the elm tree. They wrote love letters each night and before first class started each had the others in their hands.

His parents were modern. Her parents were strict. The two weren’t allowed to date until she was 16. He drove his parents car up to her sidewalk. When he rang the doorbell and she opened the door he had one single, red rose that he gave her.

They went to a pizza joint for supper and then went to the Roller Dome for skating. Holding hands on all couples dance; they fell more in love than ever. Taking her home he held her gently in his arms and he kissed her nose.

She wrapped her arms around him. He kissed her on her lips and the two explored each others mouths. The porch light flickered on and off. She knew it was her cue to return inside. He touched her cheek with his hand and kissing her nose he jumped out of his door and walked her to the front door.

For the next three  years they dated every Friday and Saturday night. They went roller skating, to the movies, to football and basketball games. During the week nights it was study time. Her parents insisted she get an education before considering serious commitments to any gentleman.

The days flew by and soon it was graduation day. They visited each others homes for parties  From that day forward the two worked  and spent all the time together they were allowed.

One day when it was smoldering outside he walked to her front door. When she opened it tears flowed down his cheeks as he handed her the white envelope. He followed her to the sun room and she opened it up and read the letter.

She looked up and saw his tears still streaming and felt her own cheeks become wet. He was leaving. He was being shipped off for the military. They had one week left to be together before they said their goodbyes.

The hours turned into minutes. The time drew to an end. Hugging and kissing she waved to him as he stepped up into the bus. Her heart was breaking. When the bus was no longer in sight, she turned and dried her eyes, walked back to his car that he had left her to take care of until he returned.

She drove the streets until she ended up at the city park. Sitting on the swing her mind went back to the first time they had met. Memories took her from there unto the present. Filling the days ahead would be a hard job to do. Every free moment she had her thoughts returned to him.

The six weeks did go by and he did return. The two melted into each others arms. Hugging and kissing he lifted her off of the ground spinning her around with excitement of holding her once again.

They had three glorious days to spend together before he was to leave  for his next orders. He was going over seas and this time she would not see him for almost a year. The night before he was to leave he drove them to the park.

He let her out and picking up a blanket from his back seat they walked to the sandy beach. The moon shone bright. The air was still, the night was warm. There on the open beach they made love to each other.

The next morning she once again had tears of sadness as she waved to him as he entered the bus. As it went out of sight she sat in his car and wept. This was going to be a long time apart. The days would slowly turn from one to the other.

She asked for more hours at her job and she received them. She poured herself into her work. The two wrote to each other daily. They poured out their hearts and he told her to start planning for their wedding. He let her know of his expected return date and wrote that they would be married two days after he came home.

For a few weeks she thought of nothing but weddings, flowers, and her dress. Work took on a new goal for her as she saved every penny she could. But one morning she woke up and she felt awful. When she stood up she became ill and rushed to the toilet.

A few days later she learned that she was pregnant. She wrote to him to let him know. She received nothing in return. She waited for days, but yet nothing. One morning she opened the front door for  work and two officers stood there.

They asked her name. They asked to come in. The three sat on the couch. They said their news and expressed their regrets. They let themselves out. She sat alone and cried. She touched her belly. She whispered she would take good care of him while daddy lived in heaven. She whispered to the heavens, We love you my Valentine.




The Lore of Valentine’s Day

Although a Christian bishop named Valentine was martyred on February 14 in A.D. 269, there is nothing in his legend to account for the custom of choosing a sweetheart on this day.

In medieval England, people believed that birds mated at about this time, and farmers knew that “winter’s back breaks” by the middle of February.

By the early 1600s, it was a popular custom to send handmade valentines to your sweetheart, and in about 1800, the first commercial cards appeared. Cards were usually sent anonymously. An English official reported having to hire extra postal workers to handle all of the mail on this day in 1822.

Nobody knows exactly why chocolate has become the food of choice for many people on Valentine’s Day, February 14. At the Almanac, we eat it all year long!

1500s: Handmade valentines were customarily being sent from admirers to sweethearts.

1521: Spanish explorer Hernando Cortés tasted cacao, liked it, and called it chocolatl because he had difficulty pronouncing its Aztec name, xocolatl.

1800s: The first commercial valentine cards appeared. Cards were usually sent anonymously.

1822: An English official reported having to hire extra postal workers to handle the increased volume of mail on February 14.

1847: The first solid chocolate candy bar was made in England.

1848: Esther Howland of Worcester, Massachusetts, started selling high-quality valentine cards that became so popular that she became known as the Mother of the American Valentine.

1876: The first milk chocolate candy appeared.

1890s: The first confection-filled, heart-shape, ornately decorated boxes (or “caskets”) were created by English chocolatier Richard Cadbury.

Just FYI. Hugs everyone!