I didn’t choose my family. I am bound with them through genes and shared experiences. Some people don’t share for long. Others share for a lifetime. Common life experiences read as separate and distinct stories over time. Some siblings are not friends; related yet distant and not invested in anything more than the occasional holiday meal. I take for granted the constancy of my family’s acceptance and affection. I love you all and miss you that are gone.
I chose to have children with no notion of who they would be. They can infuriate and frustrate. They can push and pull every button and loose hanging thread until I’m sure I will unravel. Yet there is something about them that I cannot resist. Perhaps it is the memory of their baby faces: grinning with a plate of spaghetti smeared all over them, determined as they rode their bikes in endless circles around the house, sweet smelling and angelic only as they slept. My heart is a deep pool of love for each of you.
I chose a partner and miraculously, he chose me. Together we have shared a life filled with precarious cliffs and exhilarating views, sprawling green meadows and cool summer waters. Among all the loves of my life, you are the only one bound with me by love alone, my one true valentine.