My Love Story

Valentine’s Day. A day that many couples use as an excuse to remind one another of their undying love. A day that many couples choose to ignore because they realize that they love each other the same today as they did yesterday and will tomorrow. A day that many single girls around the country loathe and use as an excuse to drink wine and eat chocolate (personally, I call days like those, “Tuesday”).

I honestly can’t remember the last time I actually had someone of the hairier sex to call “My Valentine.” {pause for thinking and Facebook researching…} …I think it was college…either Chris or Ian…either way, it’s been a long freaking time, so I have gotten used to shrugging the day off as just another day and using it as an excuse to wear every item of pink clothing and accessories I own (I call days like this, “everyday.”).

Well, once again, I am single on Valentine’s Day. No big deal. I’ve got Dewars (my dog, not the scotch…well, I’ve got the scotch too…). This year, not only am I a symphony in pink, but I am using today as a day to regale you with my favorite love story. And! It just so happens that said love story revolves around Ash Wednesday, which was yesterday!

……

Once upon a time, in the mid-1980s, there was a happily married couple that had been trying for years and years to have a child. They tried everything. The “usual” way was fun but didn’t work, the cabbage patch was brown and baby-less, and the stork was on a trip delivering Channing Tatum (seriously not mad about that one. You saw, Magic Mike, right??). After years and years of brainstorming ways to get a baby, they decided that they would try adopting one! Well, simple as it sounds, it’s not like perusing the deli counter and choosing the perfect, A1, Grade A that meat your family would enjoy best. No, for this couple (let’s just call them “Tom” & “Lois”…generic, completely random names), it involved many interviews, mountains of paperwork, excruciating home visits, and days & weeks & months & years of waiting.

Thank goodness Lois’ expertise was perseverance and Tom’s was spousal encouragement when the perseverance ran low.

Fast-forward past all those days & weeks & months & years of waiting. 5 ½ years, to be exact. It is now February 20th, 1985. Ash Wednesday. It’s a typical, cold, snowy day in Columbus, Ohio. Lois spent the day teaching and Tom spent the day at work (he owned a funeral home!). Nothing exciting was going to happen on this day except for a visit to church for the annual Ash Wednesday service. But something exciting DID happen!

The phone rang.

It was Catholic Social Services, Tom & Lois’ adoption agency of choice. They were calling to inform them that all the waiting, praying, sucking up to nuns with influence, and overall perseverance was about to payoff. There was a little, just-barely-month-old baby girl waiting for them.

God had finally called their number at the deli counter.

Now, in today’s culture, if this happened to one of us, we would probably rush to our computers and cell phones and spread the word that #babygirlawaits! and #godisgood! and Instagram photos of us and our significant other scrambling to ready the house and screaming & hugging in joy.

But that wasn’t what Tom and Lois did. Lois, being nicknamed “Worst Case Scenario,” didn’t want to tell anyone until that baby girl was in her arms. So she called one of her best friends, Marilyn, and told her to go out and get a snowsuit and a car seat. Oh, and don’t tell anyone what you’re doing.

Tom & Lois waited 2 more agonizing days, and on Friday, February 22nd, 1985, at 10am, their dream came true and they were given a baby girl to call their own. The days following were filled with smiles, laughter and joy. Friends and family filled Tom & Lois’ home when they finally activated the phone tree and announced to their world that they were parents. Finally. True to Tom’s dedicated work ethic, the next day, Saturday, he had to go to work for a few hours. He returned home to find Lois, right where he had left her, hours before, rocking that baby girl.

……

Because Tom & Lois got the call that their baby girl waiting for them on Ash Wednesday, they named her Ashley. Her middle name is Elaine after her beautiful mother. As you may have guessed by now, Tom & Lois are my amazing parents and this is my love story.

I’ll admit that every Valentine’s Day spent as an independent single girl carries with it a slight pang of bitterness and jealousy of those folks that do have significant others to fawn over for the day (even if they don’t acknowledge the holiday. They could if they wanted to! I don’t have a choice!).

But then I remember that my life has no shortage of love. I may not have experienced my greatest romance (YET!), but I have experienced true, unadulterated, unconditional love. So today, instead of focusing on thoughts like I wonder what the ex and I would be doing had we not broke up…and I wish that I had someone to cuddle up with and ignore this holiday with…and my personal favorite, VD sucks, but I rock! This holiday can suck it! I am going to focus on all the forms of love I do have in my life, because there are many, and paying that love forward.

My mom passed away in 2010 from endometrial cancer, but her love is still alive and well in my heart. Today will be dedicated to honoring my mother’s perseverance and my father’s spousal encouragement. Because if it weren’t for their dedication and sacrifice, I might not have ended up here.

{Mom & I}

{Mom & I}

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12 thoughts on “My Love Story

    • Thanks, Jules! I know you’ve heard the story before, along with many of our friends, so I talked to Dad about it more and tried to add some details that my friends didn’t know! Love to you!

      Dinner with Jason, Dad & me in CBus soon? 😉

  1. Well, now I’m crying. This was beautiful, and lovely, and sad, and wonderful, and gosh, about a million other things. So much love to you. ❤ ❤

  2. Oh Bri!!! I love how open your heart is to everyone you encounter. You don’t just read my stories, but you experience them with me, the way they are meant to be enjoyed! That is a quality I treasure in you.

  3. So personal and beautifully written! You are a living tribute to your parents! And you are full of love and continually pay that forward. xo

  4. Pingback: Finding My Family | Ending Up Here

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