"Remember," my husband repeated, "be ready at six o'clock sharp."
"Oghay!" I retorted from around my busy toothbrush. I had only a few moments of peace before the little ones would be up and demanding my attention. How many times had he told me to be ready at six? I'd lost count! His nagging about the time to be ready for our Valentine's Day "date" was making me tense.
As I sat with my coffee, absorbing the last few seconds of quiet in an effort to fortify myself for my day, I felt bad for getting frustrated with Rob. He was such a sweetheart! He loved to surprise me, especially on anniversaries, birthdays, and Valentine's Day. He'd proven himself to be quite creative over the years. I wondered what was so special about six o'clock.
The patter of little feet kept me from thinking further about the coming date. But as I wiped noses, kissed boo-boos, and cleaned spills, my curiosity grew. What could he be up to this time? We made it through lunch, naps, and Sesame Street. Before I knew it, it was time to take the three little ones to my friend's house. I silently blessed her for watching them for us.
Given my tendency to run late, I forgave Rob for calling at lunchtime just to be sure I had everything under control and was planning to take the kids to JoAnn's the minute they woke from their naps.
At 5:59, I was slipping into my shoes, listening for the garage door to signal Rob's arrival. I had made it! He would not be disappointed.
The doorbell rang at 6:01, interrupting my survey of myself. It was to be a special evening, and I wanted to look just right. Who could that be? Rob would have come in the back door - besides I hadn't heard the garage door open. Maybe a neighbor needed to borrow something for a special Valentine's Day dinner.
I opened the door to find a uniformed chauffeur standing there with his arm crooked, ready to escort me to the limo. Yes, he must go with that shining white limousine parked in front of the house, I thought in a daze. Careful not to trip over my jaw (which was hanging open), I hastily locked the house. Inside the car, there was a gift and a tape recorder. Feeling like royalty, I listened to the message Rob had recorded for me and opened the gift upon his cue. For the remainder of that ride, I gazed absently out the window, my mind fully occupied with the wonderful man I had married.
We pulled up to Rob's pre-arranged destination while a crowd of curious onlookers gaped. Again escorted by the uniformed driver, I could hear them whispering. "Who is that?" "Look at that limo!" "Do you think we could get her autograph?"
Then I overheard the derisive comment. "Why would you want her autograph? She's no one special."
"Oh," came the disappointed reply. "I thought she was somebody important."
For some reason, the comment took a little of the joy from the evening. Then as I turned, there was Rob, my dear husband, in the hotel lobby. He was looking at me in the same way he had on our wedding day, when my dad brought me down the aisle toward him. He leaned in to kiss my cheek. Eyes shining, he murmured, "Happy Valentine's Day, Sweetheart. I love you."
That poor woman out front thought I was no one special. Gazing into Rob's eyes, it no longer mattered what she thought. I am somebody! I realized. I am a very special somebody to this incredibly wonderful man who loves me.
"Happy Valentines Day, Rob," I whispered. "I love you too." It was his turn to be surprised - by my unusually passionate kiss!
Knowing both the freedom of surrender and the pain of resistance, Cheri desires to bring God's hope to others suffering in life's deserts. She and husband Wayne have been blessed with four children and three grandchildren. Contact Cheri at email@example.com
Copyright 2007 Cheri Hardaway
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