When I was a child, it wasn’t uncommon for students to bring in cards and candy for every student in the class. No one would be left out.
That is an age in our life when it was easy to give a card to everyone in the class because we hadn’t grown into cynical adults yet.
Sure, we had spats. Sometimes we even had fights. But we are far more forgiving as children than we are as adults. That’s a shame, really, for we should know better. We should have learned. But we don’t.
As those same children grow older, they start to view this holiday a little differently.
Instead of randomly passing out cards and candy, we reserve those gifts for someone special. In our lifetime, that someone special can and does change on occasion.
In my generation, it changes far more than it did in my parents’ generation. I have questioned many times why there are fewer divorces among my parent’s and grandparent’s generation. In thinking about it, I can’t help but think that they were so busy trying to survive that they didn’t have time to worry about getting a divorce.
But my generation, which has been given far more than that of our ancestors, tends to give up at the first sign of trouble.
Maybe it’s because we have had it too easy.
Maybe it’s because material things mean more to us than the sanctity of marriage. Or maybe it’s because we simply don’t enter into it with the sincerity that we should.
If anything I have said thus far is true, it stands to reason that money really can’t buy love.
Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love.
And although I may not have a spouse, I have a daughter.
And through every failure I have experienced, one thing has always remained the same. The love for a child is never ending and unconditional.
She is 25 now. She is and forever will be my Pooh Bear. And this won’t change if I live to be a hundred.
When she hurts, I hurt. It was just a couple of weeks ago that she called and said, “Daddy, I am really hurting in my back. Will you come and take me to the emergency room?”
When your child makes this call, you go if there is any decency in you.
We got to the hospital and she was crying in pain. And on top of hurting, she was afraid. As her Daddy, I wanted to throw up. If I could have taken the pain for her I would have. And I hate pain.
Even in pain and through the tears she didn’t lose her quick wit. The doctor asks her if she could be pregnant. She answered, “Not unless it’s a miracle baby.” That’s my girl.
After doing several tests, the doctor came in and said she had a kidney stone. I asked if a kidney stone can hurt that bad. The doctor said it could be compared to having birth.
My answer was clear.
My daughter had a kidney stone and I wanted to fall apart. I wanted to take her pain so she didn’t have to hurt. But I couldn’t. The feeling was helpless and miserable.
After I took her back to her mother’s, I had to thank God that it wasn’t anything too serious. Then I thought about the parents that have lost children whether to a dreaded disease or an accident. There must be strength in those parents that other people don’t have. I pray I never know.
There is no way that we can look at those parents who have suffered the loss of a child and say they should do this or that.
We don’t know what they should do. We certainly can’t make any judgments as to how they cope.
We can just love them.
The feeling of angst when Lindsey is hurting is no different now than it was when she was just a young child. In my eyes, she will forever be my little girl.
So even if I spend the rest of my days alone, that’s OK.
God gave me a Pooh Bear.
Chris Collett is a lifelong resident of Cherokee County.