Mountain Melody Sweet AdelinesThis morning I received an e-mail from a childhood friend thanking me for a valentine I'd sent her. A psychoanalyst, she was widowed a few years ago, as was I. She said she hadn't received a valentine in so long she was glad to see it in the mail. I well know that unexpected joy of getting something in the mailbox on Valentine's Day. I can count on my stepson for ensuring I get one from my little granddaughter. And my writing partner, the wonderful Annie, not only sends valentines...but St. Paddy's cards, as well.
Still, I think Valentine's Day is a poignant time for widows. Fortunately this year it fell on the day I was scheduled to facilitate my Colville book group's discussion of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. So I threw myself a Valentine's party. The Mountain Melodies Sweet Adeline group roves around serenading for a several days on Valentine week, and I got my reservation in for them to sing "Love Makes the World Go Round" and a couple of other tightly-harmonized tunes for us.
Thanks to Netflix, I was able to show a video, The Gothic World of Daphne du Maurier, a special feature on its DVD of Rebecca, the Academy Award best-winning film in 1941. I baked a gingerbread in the shape of a heart, and my friend, Jane, brought a paper Victorian mansion constructed by her niece for a centerpiece and we pretended it was Manderley. I even broke open the box of See's truffles my sister had sent me for Christmas.
So the day turned out to be filled with food, friends and fun.
It's easier to get through a holiday without my late husband when I plan something to vary the usual daily routine. Chocolate alone won't always do the trick. (But it sure helps.)