Valentine’s Day Competition – Winners
We would like to thank you all for your participation in our Valentine’s Day competition and for the great feedback we received from many members. From more than 100 opinions left on our topic we are delighted to announce the winners of our competition and our $50 Gift Voucher prizes. We hope you will take a moment to read their stories below and visit all our other great entries by visiting our original topic.
“I’ve had my share of special Valentine’s Days with SOs, but my best Valentine’s memory was my senior year in college. My grandmother made the trip up to see me in Duluth, MN since I had been very very busy with an ultra heavy load of classes – 4 advanced history seminars in one term.
We went out for dinner at a lovely restaurant down on Lake Superior. It was way too early for me, but Gran had ALWAYS had dinner at 5:00 PM. The upside was we had the Lakeview dining room almost to ourselves. We ended up seated at the table next to the only other person in the room, and nice elderly gentleman. He was a retired Great Lakes pilot – the guys who board the ships and bring them safely into the ports. He entertained us with some great stories of his days piloting on the Lakes Michigan & Superior in the 50s, 60s, and 70s: notable ships he had piloted and crazy storms he had encountered. The dinner was fabulous. Gran actually ate everything she was served – it had been several years since food had appealed to her so much.
After dinner, she was feeling so perky, we walked the mile and a quarter back up Superior Street to her hotel. I couldn’t remember the last time I had seen her with so much life. This was notable also because it was February in Duluth, but there had been an unusual February thaw and so it was what we call light jacket weather up her in the Midwest. Gran and I just had a lovely visit, chatting away as we strolled up the street. As it turned out, this was really a swan song for her.
About nine months later, her health had failed to such a degree, she admitted herself to a nursing home, 28 months later, and she passed away. I’ll treasure that Valentine’s Day for the rest of my life.”
“Seven years ago I had a Valentine’s Day date with a kind, funny, whimsical gentleman who arrived at my door bearing:
35 roses, one for every year I’d been alive
A funny and pretty Valentine’s Day card
A manila envelope filled with 34 kids’ valentines – you know the ones, with Disney or Nickelodeon characters and butterflies and ladybugs and silly puns – all addressed to me, from him, sealed with various little heart stickers. He explained that he had missed all my previous Valentine’s Days and wanted to get caught up. It was a sweet, funny, absurd gesture, and it won my heart.
We did not end up marrying (a long, involved story that ends in tears and a noble gesture of renunciation–it was the right decision in the long run, but just because a decision is right doesn’t mean it can’t also be sad), but I think of him often, how fortunate I was to spend that short time with him, and how shocking it still is to me that he died unwed. He had such a good, wise, funny heart, I don’t understand how other women could have failed to notice it and fall for it.
I think of you, Dave–of the stories you told and retold, the kids you helped, the chosen family you surrounded yourself with who loved you so dearly, the vine-swarmed oak trees on the wild hillside you loved, your smile, your cold impatience with thoughtless and unkind people, the romantic gestures you were capable of that so few people knew about. Without you, I wouldn’t be married to my beloved husband; I wouldn’t have my precious daughter. I will not forget your voice, your hands, and your goodness. Someday when my daughter is grown I’ll show her that manila envelope fully of silly Valentines and tell her about the man who helped her dad realize how much he loved her mom, and what we all owe to him.
And I’ll tell her about him–not just what his one act meant to us, but who he was, who you were. You loved stories more than anything else in the world; I will make a story of you, and you will not be forgotten. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
See you soon on the site!
The Toluna team