By Gail Lynne Goodwin.
There’s something about people in grocery stores that often inspire me. Today as I was waiting in the check out line, there was an older couple in front of me, who the cashier greeted as Ginny and Roy.
As they neared their turn in line, I noticed that Ginny had a single Valentine’s Day card, while Roy was proudly holding a single red rose. Ginny, well into her 80s handed the cashier the greeting card, then started counting out coins to pay for it. Roy waited and watched, smiling. Then, he handed the rose to the cashier and he too counted out a few dollars and coins to pay for the rose.
It appeared that they would be short on change, so I offered to help and allow them to accept it as my Valentine’s gift. They politely refused, continued counting coins and shared that this was an important ritual for them.
Roy shared that they’ve been married “forever”. They live on a budget, but for all these years, they celebrate Valentine’s Day with a card and a rose. Ginny explained that each year they give each other the same card that they gave each other on their first Valentine’s Day together, many years ago. She wasn’t able to find her well-loved card for her husband, so she was in the store today to purchase a new one for him.
Roy went on to tell me that there’s no purpose in buying a new card each year, when the sentiment in that first card so long ago just says it all. “I loved her then, and I love her now,” he happily said, bursting with pride.
I was so touched by the love between these two. What inspired me the most was that they didn’t need a big box of chocolates, or dozens of roses, or even fancy cards… what they had went much deeper. They had the kind of love that you see with an older couple who have been together for awhile. Even on a limited budget, their trip to the grocery store to purchase the card and the rose, was a date, or for them, even an adventure.
Just looking at the two of them, I could see that through jobs, moves, raising kids, illness, and the general hustle bustle adversity of life, they realized that Valentine’s Day isn’t about how much you spend, but rather, it’s about remembering what made you fall in love in the first place.
As they walked out of the store hand in hand, I felt like I was watching two teenagers in love. I was inspired. I smiled, paused and wrote a quick email to the people I love the most, telling them how important they are in my life, and just how much they are loved.
I hope on the Valentine’s Day, whether you have a sweetheart or not, you take the time to express your love and appreciation for the special people in your life, and let them know how much you care. And just like Ginny and Roy, that simple show of affection doesn’t have to be fancy to still touch hearts in a very deep way.
Happy Valentine’s Day with love!