Viral Valentine

The Early Years
The very first Valentine’s Day Brent and I ever spent together, was just a couple of months before our wedding. We met the month after Valentine’s day, and the following year, I was away at school. So here we were, engaged, and finally able to spend the romantic holiday together as husband-and-wife-to-be. I had planned to cook him steak and crab legs at his apartment for dinner, and I’m sure follow up with some amazing chocolate concoction, though I don’t remember. Whatever I had planned, it was going to be the best daggum meal of his life.
Then I got strep throat.
When I was a kid, you could say “strep throat” and I would come down with it. I got it four, sometimes five, times a year. Every year. I always missed every single day of the allowed days missed from school, from being sick. When I was 20 years old, the ENT doctor said I could have my tonsils removed. Finally. After years of torture from strep throat, I was going to be freed!  I had my tonsils out, and it was my first ever surgery. It was a brutal recovery. I couldn’t speak for nearly two weeks, and the pain – oh my goodness, the pain!  People kept telling me about how quickly their kids healed, and how it was no big deal. People who had their tonsils removed as adults would only say, “It’ll be fine.” My mother had her tonsils out when she was 19 and she told me it HURT. When I said that to someone else who had theirs removed as an adult he said, “Well I wasn’t going to say that, but yes, it hurts A LOT.”  Indeed, I was in a lot of pain. The antibiotic they gave me after surgery upset my stomach. As I recovered at my parents’ house, I ran to the kitchen to vomit in the sink and I kicked the cabinets and pounded the counter trying to get someone’s attention (since I had no voice). Dad came running in only to say, “Sandra! Your daughter needs you!” (Dad does a lot of things really well, but vomit is not one of them.) Mom got me a cold glass of water and a cool washcloth and had to tell me several times to stop crying. Oh my lands, that hurt so bad. I still remember it vividly. Along with swallowing pieces of my newly cauterized throat. That was fun. All of that grossness to say two things: 1) the sooner you have your tonsils removed, the better, and 2) having had them removed means I only get strep once or twice a year instead of four or five times. 
That Valentine’s Day in 2003 was one of those times that year. (Right before our wedding was another.) 
Laden with strep throat, I couldn’t cook for Brent, as I could hardly move or speak. He called and asked “What would Cupid bring you for dinner if he could?” so he bought me Chinese food (and a teddy bear) and drove over to take care of me while I was grossly sick. Is that sweet, or what? Anyway, almost every single year after that, it’s safe to gamble I end up sick on Valentine’s Day. The one day when I really want to put my best foot forward for my man, I end up hardly able to move at all, best foot or otherwise. This year is apparently no exception.
Today I had plans to cook a special dinner again. This morning, however, I woke up not feeling great. Scratchy throat and general feeling of not-really-all-that-great, mixed with a little of totally-out-of-it. I took Little Miss with me to take some pictures of a project my new boss had completed and muddled through it. When we got home I started to feel even worse, and just couldn’t shake it. Even after a glorious afternoon nap, my head hurts, my throat hurts, and my pride hurts. I don’t think I have strep throat – because I’ve had it so much, I usually know right away when I have it. I start off feeling like I have the flu, then by the end of day 2 and start of day 3, my throat is on fire. This isn’t like that. This is like winter-blues-cold kind of sick. But having a scratchy throat, headache, and general feeling of not-so-great, will mean another Valentine’s Day Brent has to play cupid. 
Regardless of my ailments, I just want to take a moment to say, Brent….after nearly 13 years of being together, you are the prize of my heart. Not just on Valentine’s Day, but every day. Whether you’re taking care of me, taking care of Haley, taking care of pretend army battles on the Xbox, or taking care of stuff only husbands can do, you are a rare find. A treasure. My diamond in the rough. And as you can see, Little Miss and Little Man are pretty fond of you, too.
Happy Valentine’s Day, babe. xoxo
Little Miss’ heart belongs to Daddy!
Little Miss signs “I Love You”
Little Man signs “I Love You” too!

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