Valentine’s, like Christmas, can be one of the more lonely days for a widow. Even if the man who forever changed the matrix of life died twenty-six years ago. A silk scarf of a story - soft and seductive as only a true love story can be - changed Valentine’s Day for me in 2021 - in this - the twenty-seventh year.
A female artist.
Whose artist husband died in her arms.
This is my 2001 published book, Nine Letters to a Dead Man…Before Being Found by Love Again.
Now, for the magic of the story as the silk scarf draws close to your own face - hopefully — as you continue to read this.
Knock - knock.
A completely diﬀerent woman.
One, I’ve never met.
Who raved about a gift she had received.
To a friend she had at the Stratford Festival.
A wardrobe cutter I’ve known forty-seven years.
Who I met when he was 12 years-old
When I was a student at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School.
Where I studied at night after working as the family housekeeper.
In 2021, just a few weeks ago…
A woman named Janine told my friend Evan her story.
About something that touched her so deeply.
Something that genuinely helped her. Something that resonated with her.
A gift of a book on her second anniversary without her husband.
When Evan told me this in an email just after one of our long distance phone calls, I wept. The tears were elegiac, the breath from my lungs joyous.
Imagine connecting to another soul whose relationship to her own husband refracted the light. The searing single violin from Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade Suite — a magic music box, once in my hand almost thirty years ago, in another’s - hearing the same, sweet sound.
When Evan told Janine he knew the author from nearly fifty year earlier he wrote, “… this weird, wonderful degree of separation, must surely mean more, than the simple exchange of a gift…”
Connection. Conversation. The two casualties of a pandemic badly managed for the very life and breath of these two simple acts that humanity so deeply wants to recover
— needs to recover.
Life is funny, we both agreed.
Romance lives - and of course the husbands had ‘something’ to do with the serendipity of it. And why not? You can’t prove they did, but you can’t prove they didn’t.
Here is to the heart in all victories for all of us on Valentine’s Day!