I had a full-spectrum Valentine’s weekend. There were some twinges of sadness, yes; but for the most part, it was filled with happy smiles and lots of love.
On Valentine’s Day, my husband treated my sister, a very good friend, and me to High Tea at Victorian Manor. Why yes, he did look a little bit silly pouring tea into a gilt-edged tea cup, while perching precariously on the edge of a beribboned, lavender-painted chair! But was his masculinity threatened by the flowery tea pots and gauzy decorations? No way. “This is heaven,” he said. “I’m surrounded three beautiful women!” And that, my friends, is but one example of why he’s the man of my dreams.
Also this weekend, my siblings and I piled into an SUV and traveled Historic Route 66. It was a trip down memory lane—and a road to healing for all of us. A Sunday road trip seemed to us a fitting final tribute to our father, the itinerant preacher.
We ambled from No Place to Nowhere, swapping stories about the countless times we’d squished together in the back seat, hurtling from one state to another, and from one tent revival to the next. Then we scattered my father’s ashes along a portion of that old highway—among the Joshua trees and tumbleweeds, between the rusted railroad trestle and the crumbling asphalt.
When we headed back to the car, a metal object glinting in the sunshine caught my eye. I scraped away some sand with my shoe—and look! A vintage side view mirror! Perhaps it was because my heart and mind were wide-open at that point, but that roadside artifact seemed to me a profound metaphor.
My sisters, brothers and I spent a very full day looking back on all the times we’d climbed into the back seat of my father’s car. And after his ashes were scattered and each of us had said our piece, I climbed into the driver’s seat and drove us safely home.