I am sitting next to a picture of the Tuesday luncheon group. Bob, Chuck, Westy and Bob L. Mary lent it to me so I could have it copied. Corde had found it at her mothers. It is hard to tell where it was taken, but it looks as if it might be one of the incarnations of the old Broad-Nel. My funny valentine is smiling broadly, and if it only had audio, I think he would be saying something, making all of them smile.
As I began to write about my funny valentine, I thought it would have more currency if I went to my "P-Q" file in the bottom left drawer of Debby's old bedroom, where I thought I might find some old valentines Bob had sent me, filed under Personal.
What I found was a lifetime of love, not only from Bob but all of my children, as well. There are beautiful letters Bob wrote me, and even one he wrote to Harry when he was coming home on leave, December 1941. He said he was going to ask me to marry him but was worried about "shipping out."
There were such clever notes, when he gave me my first cell phone, and answering machine, and microwave. And the Cartier watch that I have worn for twenty-five years.
He thanked me for always laughing at his humor. There was no way I could have done otherwise. They were funny, even on the second and third hearing.
The file is really thick, for there are treasured messages from all of you. Bob's Esquire column about the woman in the photograph, a message left by the coffee machine by D.G. in the terrible months we were taking care of Bob, and many, many letters from Tim, and his marvelous poem about my old Baker desk at my 70th birthday gathering.
Notes from the grandchildren, records of their accomplishments. I wrestled it out of the drawer myself; I am going to need help putting it back.
I also unearthed a beautiful note from Jack Roth when I was sick, and from Lindsey, not even for a special occasion.
For giving me a lifetime of joy, and an afternoon of happy tears, this is my valentine to you.
To all the funny valentines: Bob and my children, Bob, D.G., and Tim. And to their children, Amanda, Nick, Maggie, Tucker and Hannah. And to Maggie's children, Zach and Nate, this Blog's for you.