Lest I forget, it was a wonderful Vantentine Day, though my beloved is half a world a way.
We spend each other tons of Vantentine's Day cards and he did recieve his Piggy singing 'Hot Stuff.' Mark says she is the hit of the unit. He can walk away from his desk and within moments hear "Hot Stuff!" because one of the soldiers or Marines came over and presses her tummy. On the 13th of this month, I recieved a box of 12 long stem red roses and a Teddy with Godiva chocolates. We spoke on the 15th and while it wasn't the same, it was still quite romantic.
Next year, G-d willing, Mark will be home.
The following is why Lover's Day is so special to us.
Mark and Laini on Blessing Night, 2006
From 13th 2008
When: A Sunday.
The place: Beth Messiah Synagogue.
The Event: The Blessing Dinner.
For several years, the men of our Synagogue got together and made dinner for their wives, daughters, mums as well as the single, divorced or widowed women of the congregation.
The Sunday chosest to Valentine's Day was picked. It was called Blessing Dinner to bless the women in the men's lives. It was a potluck meal where the men did the cooking. Roses and other flowers were brought for the evening. For woman who were Bat Mitzvah (over the age of 13) she would recieve a rose. Girls under 13 recieve another type of flower.The men setup, serve the meal and clean up. After dinner, first the husbands, one by one would stand up and play tribute to their beloved and afterwards, represent her with a rose. The men would also pay tribute to their mums and daughters. Rabbi would give roses to the women who, for whatever reason, was without a mate. This way everyone recieved atleast one flower on Lovers Day.Mark and I were courting at the time. For several weeks we had talked about marriage. And Mark by his own admission suffered from a serve case of cold feet.We were suppose to meet earlier in the day, do a little shopping and then I woud dress at his apartment.But he forgot and was several hours late. We exchanged words and almost did not go to the dinner.But we went to his apartment so I could change. I wore a studding midnight black dress that had ripples at the hem and moved every time I did. I took my braids out and let my wavey hair fall down my back and laced in it little hairpins with pearls and dimands. I was looking good.Mark looked up when I walked out and then looked back into his book! My heart sank.
He then stood up, placed his hands on my shoulders and asked; "excuse me, who are you and what have you done with my Laini?" That made me smile. He really did notice. According to Mark; "she looked gooooood!"
Like tonight, it was pouring down rain and since I was wearing heeds I wasn't use to, I had to hold onto Mark's arm.Heads turned when I walked in. While most were used to seeing me dress for the services, no one had seem me dressed to the nines.Until tonight.After the meal, Mark wondered out loud: "I wonder what I am going to say about you."
I said: "Just ask the Holy Spirit. And the words will then come."He did and they did.At one point I notice Mark had left the table we were sharing with friends. I thought he had gone to the bathroom.
And then I heard his voice. Up front.
Now you have to understand, Mark didn't wait until all of the husband had spoken, but picked up and rose and began to tell everyone how I had prayed for him, cared for him, how I supported him while he was in Iraq and now during his cancer treatment.
That G-d had truly blessed him when He brought me into his life.
He spoke of his love for me and said everything but; "will you marry me?" He then came over and handed me the rose. He asked if I liked what he said. I told him; "I love every word, and you have no idea what you just did."
"What did I just do?"
"You just asked me to marry you in front of almost 130 people."It took a few moments, but when Rabbi asked: "you didn't see that coming did you?" Mark realized what he had done. To say the room was abuzz was an understatement.On the way home we talked about what he had done. And when he came to a red light, Mark turned to me and said; "well, you want to set a date?"And that is how is all began.
Three years ago tonight.
Three years ago tonight.