The Memory of a Valentine
My husband Matt and I met during college. Ours was a love affair for the ages. We met during my sophomore/his junior year at a football party. We quickly became the “it” couple on campus, and seemed to not be subject to the many squabbles and frequent breakups of many of our friends. He proposed to me just after he graduated, and we married the day after my graduation the following May.
Emily was our honeymoon baby. Even more appropriate, she was born on Valentine’s Day itself. Our families teased us mercilessly—not only were we the “perfect couple,” but we became pregnant immediately to a baby born on Valentine’s Day. It seemed to be fate.
We called Emily our Golden Child. She was bounding with joy and seemed to just emanate it from her pores. While I probably am biased as her mother, I thought she was the most beautiful creature ever created. She had dark gold curls that never seemed to do what I wanted to coax them to do, and her father’s chocolate brown eyes with a very faint golden rim. She was truly breathtaking.
We always wanted more children, but didn’t seem to fall pregnant as easily as we had before. However, we were content with our Emily. Until the May just after Emily turned 4. It was the day before Matt’s and my anniversary, and Emily and I were running errands. I was admittedly in a hurry, trying to get everything done before our scheduled 5th anniversary vacation in three short days. I was harried. Emily sensed that and was restless herself. I became cross with her. To try to distract her, I reached into the back set to turn up the music on her toy… I never saw the truck coming.
I woke up four days later in the hospital. Everything from those next few days is still fairly fuzzy, but I remember the moment when Matt told me that Emily didn’t survive the crash. All I could think about was the last words she heard from me. I crossly asked her to be quiet for just five minutes.
I slowly recovered from my own numerous injuries. Matt was amazingly supportive, but things obviously weren’t the same as before. Our Golden Child was gone.
Her birthday was approaching, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it through. To make matters worse, Matt’s company was sending him to Zurich, Switzerland, for the 10 days preceding Valentine’s Day for a special conference. I don’t think I ever felt so alone as I did those 10 days.
When Matt landed in New York on Valentine’s Day, Emily’s birthday, he called to confirm that I would be at the airport to pick him up from his connecting flight. He told me that he had a special Valentine’s gift for me. I told him that I wasn’t in a Valentine’s sort of mood, but he insisted that this would help.
Things seemed infinitely better when I saw Matt coming off the plane. He gave me a giant hug, and then we grabbed his luggage and headed home. When we got home, he sat me down and gave me a small wrapped box. He told me that he hadn’t planned on getting me anything for Valentine’s this year since it was so painful for us both, but he saw these in Zurich and knew that he had to bring them to me.
I unwrapped the box, and saw a brand name that was unfamiliar to me -- DeLafée. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but opened the box quizzically. Inside were beautiful chocolates… sprinkled with gold. I immediately began to smile and cry at the same time – a box of chocolates from our Golden Child. Matt urged me to taste one, and the rich chocolate seemed to explode on my tongue, I had never tasted anything like that in my entire life.
Each Valentine’s Day gets a little easier. We now have a little boy, Ethan. And each Valentine’s Day, Matt gets me a box of DeLafée chocolate pralines. These chocolates have become so well-known throughout my circle of friends that we all look forward to our husbands' special purchases of DeLafée for us. But as much as every one of my friends enjoys these gold-flaked exquisite chocolates, I know that mine are a special reminder of my Golden Child.
About the Author: Jane S. Roseen is the Owner and President of Harmony Sweets, an international gourmet chocolate shop. Harmony Sweets' mission focuses on individual consumers purchasing gourmet chocolates from around the world for their friends and relatives, as well as corporate gift giving. Gourmet chocolate gift baskets and personalized chocolates are also available.