Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Red rover, red rover....Send Chocolate right over!

Historically, Valentine's Day has not been a great time of year for me. It's not the relationship issue so much as death. I know. Crazy right?

My (paternal) Grandma died on Valentine's Day about 20 years ago. It was a weekend and we were talking to her on the phone when she had a stroke. She was a petite, white-haired woman with a deep love for the Boston Red Sox and her grandchildren in the U.S. and Ireland. Grandma F. was the kindest, most soft-spoken woman you have ever met. This exterior hid a tough woman, who worked as a nurse and supported her two children after husband died at 39. I loved her deeply.

My (maternal) Grandmama (how snotty does that sound? That's what we called her though.....) died on February 15th about 10 years ago. She was a tall, tough woman with salt and pepper hair - a farmer's wife - who loved her family unconditionally. Grandmama T. had a love of cooking and baking and high expectations for all of her grandchildren. It's a shame she didn't live to see those expectations come to fruition. She was a nurse as well; a psychiatric nurse who had great understanding and empathy for her patients.

After my freshman year in college (6 hours away from home), I became an RA for freshman. I knew I would enjoy helping people and I was right. That job was my calling. In my first year as a freshman RA, I lost a student from my dorm on Valentine's Day. G died in a car accident due to icy roads. It was a traumatic event. She was barely a year younger than I. That experience really shaped my decision to work with grieving children and pursue a degree in social work. I spent many sleepless nights talking to confused and devastated students and sharing in their grief. She was a sweet, generous girl with a ready smile and infectious laugh - in the prime of her life.

So you see.....Valentine's Day? Not so much my day. :)

Nonetheless, I like to make people smile on this day. I feel really close to the above people on this day and I try to channel their loving personalities to help others. The romance of the day - ehh. The love of people - that's what I'm about!

I stayed up late last night to prepare a few little treats.

Some bags of chocolate for the girls in my office - and some red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for my office as well. These last few weeks have been stressful for all of us and they deserved a "pick-me-up" I thought! :)

**Typically I'm not big on made from scratch cupcakes. I think most mixes work great for cupcakes, but I really wanted red velvet and this recipe was easy to do at the last minute last night! :)
I also mailed little "First Valentine's Day" bibs to all my new babies! :) Hopefully, it made the Mamas smile! I can't believe how fast they are growing!!

Happy Valentine's Day to all.....I hope you were able to spread the love today.


carrster said...

So sorry to hear this is such a hard time of year for you. I'm impressed that you showered your co-workers with baked-goodness-love.


Kelli said...

Oh man! I wish I was there to:
A. Give you a hug
B. Steal and inhale a couple of those cupcakes and
C. Compare great stories about our grandmamies.
Hope you are doing well!