This Valentine’s Day has been spread over two days for me and my husband this year. Part of this is because in British Columbia we now have ‘Family Day’ which fell on February 13 this year. Because of this a lot of our day on the 14th is the ‘back to the real world’ part of any long weekend.
This hasn’t stopped it from being an extremely special time. Last year we released the ‘Hearts Asunder’ anthology and this year we released the second anthology of the same title. It’s starting to feel like things are moving at a rolling, steady pace with the holidays adding a conducive momentum to these types of themed anthologies. Heart’s Asunder 1 was popular and I think the second of the same name will be at least as enthusiastically received.
I’d like to share a more intimate (but still PG rated) part of my Valentine’s Day this year. As with most anything in my life, it comes with a backstory; so get cozy!
When I was a little girl I was in many ways treated like a princess. This extended to my Dad making me a little girl’s dream canopy bed. I had always wanted a canopy bed and both of my parents pitched in to make it my fantasy come true. Pink, with rosebuds on the curtains and canopy and crushed velvet accents, my mother made a matching blanket out of the same material with my childhood velour blanky as the lining.
This bed isn’t nearly as nice as mine was, but you get the general idea: A little bed for a little princess.
Like all in most fairy tales, the princess’ life became more complicated through no fault of her own. Evil forces conspired to burn her house down and the magical bed went with it.
I’m really serious about that last paragraph. I’ve frequently joked about living in a Lemony Snicket book and I’m half convinced he got some of his ideas from my childhood (not really, but sort of really). The bed was lost in the fire and I never had one like it ever again.
Even all in pink my older brother was jealous of that bed. I think it was more about the time and energy both of our parents put into it but whatever the case, it was something special. it’s rare that something has so much love put into it. In my tempestuous life, it was an anchor point for me to hold onto. My dad was a man of grand gestures that made up for his many other shortfalls. In this case, that bed of mine made up for a lot of failing and probably bought him years of forgiveness that kept me bonded to him.
It wasn’t because the bed was perfect. It was, after all, handmade. As a child as now, I have always been far more impacted by the love put into a present than in the most expensive of gifts. My dad could have gone out and bought me a bed like other little girls had, but instead, I got something special. That was something no one else would ever have or could ever have. The bed lived on in my mind long after the flames took it.
Here we come back to the fairy tale princess:
The princess grew up and after many trials and tribulations she found her prince. They got married and she became his Queen and he was her King. They loved each other very much even though the words, ‘and they lived happily ever after’ never scrolled onto the screen. Instead they had many adventures and came to love each other more and more despite all odds.
Here I am, a Queen now in my own way but a Queen with a story that lacks closure on many areas. That’s just bad storytelling: Let’s hear more.
This year I was telling my husband about my little girl bed and discussing the loss of it. There’s a whole lot more to the stories here, a wicked witch of a stepmother, a father turned villain, a mother under a horrible spell…
But that’s not for today. Today is about a happy ending to an aspect of my fairy tale princess story. After hearing about my loss my husband decided that it was only fitting that I get a grown up version of what had been stolen from me. This brings us back to Valentine’s Day.
True to the original bed, my husband decided to draft plans for a new, improved version of the bed and today I was presented with what will soon be a bed fit for a Queen. I’m not a princess anymore and I don’t need my little girl bed returned to me, there wouldn’t be room for two in it for starters!
I found a picture that is close to what the finished product will look like (there will probably be fewer throw pillows though):
Pretty nice, huh?
The dominant colors will be red with gold and dark wood accents and the headboard won’t look like the one pictured, but it gives you a pretty good idea: valance, curtains, fancy bit at the top and my husband will be carving the posts with things that are significant to us in our relationship rather than the simple doweling for the corners.
How did this make me feel?
First off: happy that it isn’t completed yet. I think having it all at once would have been a bit shocking to my system. It’s nice to have a bit of time to adapt and I’m also happy to have gotten to have input into the final touches of design.
Second of all, a lot like crying. We all lose things in life. Usually it’s a gradual moving on, in my case however, it was a violent and dramatic wrenching away of all my childish things in one hideous blaze. All I had left after the fire was my dog who was thankfully with me at the time. Even my fish and my turtle got fried.
A fire like that, the loss of my entire life isn’t something that is easily forgotten. The beautiful bed and all of the things I loved were taken from me. That was something that I dealt with and moved on until I discovered the villainy behind the fire and that it was not an accident. The bed had been taken from me by the same man who had so lovingly built it for me.
This is more than a piece of my childhood restored, this is a marriage bed. This is a bed fit for a Queen. This is a celebration of the fact that I am married to someone who cares about me enough to give and to not take away.
There were some more little exchanges. There was a lot of snuggling, there was good food and chocolates and the night was rounded out with a movie.
I got tools for me to work on my pottery and a handmade container especially designed for them. My husband got a few special things too 😉
I don’t think there is a Valentine’s Day that could equal what my husband did for me this year because it wasn’t just a time for loving, it was also the return of potential that had been stolen from me. It was a return of a certain trust that my father lost and my husband gained.
It was in fact, the best Valentine’s Day that the little princess who lost her magic bed could have ever imagined. Maybe I’ve got a fairy godmother or two looking out for me as well as some guardian angels. Man, I keep all those guys busy!