Katie Strumpf
"Helping kids with cancer.......a cancer survivor's story"  


Valentine's Day, like any holiday when you are newly widowed, is a strange day. Well, every day is strange when you are widowed at 30, but Valentine's Day is even stranger. I have never been big on Valentine's Day, as far as making a big fuss and the commercialism of it. However, it was easy to say I wasn't big on Valentine's Day when Adam was my valentine, because there truly was no sweeter valentine than him. Every day of the year. 

I thought about past Valentine's Days with Adam, and the fun and simple things we did that created the best memories. I remember making him a giant heart-shaped chocolate chip peanut butter fudge cookie each year, and worrying it was a bad omen when the first one I made him broke in half in transit to Pittsburgh. I wish my biggest worry now was a broken cookie. I remember riding bikes with him from the beach house in Fenwick all the way to the General's Kitchen in Ocean City, and having to stop to buy gloves on the ride back because our hands were so cold. We laughed because the only gloves they had were gardening gloves, and mine were way too big. I still have those gloves. I remember going to Simon Pierce for brunch last year and his grandma generously calling and paying for our meal before we even saw the bill. She wanted to treat us during this difficult time, and she most certainly did. I remember Adam, bald from chemo and too thin for his tall frame, enjoying his Mexican hot chocolate and the beautiful view, despite the intensive stem cell transplant that was just weeks away. I remember going through their gift shop with him and registering for overpriced hand-blown glass items for our registry. I smile remembering watching glass being blown into a work of art, and sitting next to Adam and wishing time could stand still. 

When I am feeling down or not sure of a decision, I often ask myself "WWAD?" What would Adam do? Kinda like What would Jesus do, except I am Jewish, and asking an atheist Adam. I thought about what Adam would do, or rather what Adam would say. I imagine he would say, "I know you miss me, and this situation is less than ideal. While I can't physically be here to be your valentine, think about the fantastic 3 years we had together, and how we shared a love that some people never know in a lifetime. Think about all of the people who love you and I. Think about your parents who would move heaven and earth for you if they could, and who treated me like their own son. Think about your brother and sister who consistently displayed a compassion and grace that belies their young years, and treated me like a brother. Think about your family that opened their home to you, and are giving you the opportunity to heal and rebuild in the place most healing to you, the beach. Think about the friends at home who care about you deeply, and are cheering you on from afar, sending flowers (thanks, Holly!), treating you to a mani-pedi (thanks, Cheryl, and for those who want to know, the color is OPI Big Hair, Big Nails.) Think about the countless emails of support you receive almost daily. Think about the new friends you are making in Charleston, and how they have made this tough transition easier. Be nice to yourself on this tough day, and eat chocolate." 

So I did. 



Posted by Katie Strumpf at 10:18 AM on February 15, 2011 | Comments (0)


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