‘Be My Valentine’ by Cathy MacKenzie

Welcome to The Spot Writers. This month, the task is “Valentine.” It could be something upbeat related to Valentine’s Day, or any other story with a character named Valentine. Lots of scope. This week’s contribution comes from Cathy MacKenzie.

Cathy’s novel, WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama, is available from her locally or on Amazon.

MISTER WOLFE, the darkly dark (18+) sequel, is now available: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1927529689

MY BROTHER, THE WOLF, the last of the series, is scheduled for release in 2022.

***

“Be My Valentine” by Cathy MacKenzie

My mother received gorgeous bouquets of flowers from my father every Valentine’s Day. He said he could never forget her on that day. Didn’t have anything to do with February 14, though.

Mom’s parents had named her Valentine.

Dad often said to her, “Be my Valentine, Valentine,” but it wasn’t only on Valentine’s Day when he said those words. They’d hug and laugh, which caused my brother and I to laugh, too. When we were younger, we didn’t know what we were laughing about. Mom was “Mom” or “Val.” Not many knew her full name.

When I visited Mom the first Valentine’s Day after Dad’s death, she pointed to a faux crystal vase containing an elaborate assortment of red roses, interspersed with sprays of baby’s breath and greenery. “Look at this,” she said.

“It’s gorgeous,” I replied.

Mom smiled. The first bit of happiness she’d exhibited since Dad’s death. “I can’t believe he thought to do this. Listen to the card: ‘Even though I may seem far away, I’ll always be nearby.’”

She inserted the card back into the florist’s stick and sighed. “He was always such a considerate man. Maybe he set up an ongoing account at Blossom’s. I’ve heard of people doing that. Do you think I’ll keep getting flowers every Valentine’s?”

It was a few seconds before I could reply. Did she really think Dad had been that clever? “I don’t know, Mom. Maybe. Who knows.”

I looked away. I couldn’t stand to see her tears. It was unbelievable she hadn’t broken down again. After his funeral the month before, she’d collapsed to the floor, moaning, “I’m all alone. I’m all alone.”

“I’m still here, Mom,” I’d said. But no matter how much I, too, missed my father, her loss was so much greater than mine. And my presence, although helpful and comforting, could never take his place.

My mother received flowers on every Valentine’s Day until her death. Each time, her eyes lit up and her face glowed. The card always said the same: “Even though I may seem far away, I’ll always be nearby.”

I never let on to Mom that I’d been sending the arrangements. I had only planned to do it that one year, but she’d been so happy thinking they were from Dad that I couldn’t bear the thought of breaking her heart again.

***

The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com

Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.com/

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