Happy heart day to all

Although it is a corporate-based holiday, let’s take a moment to wish a healthy heart for all on this Valentine’s Day. Here are a few random thoughts to sink your sweet tooth into.

– Walk more, drive less. If possible, walk with a friend. Holding hands is optional, highly dependent on the closeness of the friendship.

– Dark chocolate is better for you than milk chocolate, but far worse for your pet. The latter should not be fed to a pet either. I will let you judge if it is an aphrodisiac. That would not be bad for your heart, if it were.

– Those little candied sweet hearts are nice for fifth graders, but I would rather waste my sugar limit on something else. See dark chocolate above.

– Fewer carbs, more fruits and nuts. But, I do miss good bread, potatoes and pasta. Well, maybe just a little every now and then.

– Work on your core. Yoga, Pilates, calisthenics or all the above work. It only takes ten to fifteen minutes a day and alter your routines to keep it fresh. Also it may help with that aphrodisiac thing.

– More hugs, more laughter. Hugs may be the best medicine of all. Laughter is right up there as well. If we can bring warmth, comfort and humor to each other, we could solve more problems.

– Singjng out loud regardless of talent is good for your soul. It is also good for your heart. Getting the words right is optional.

– Finally, a helping hand makes you and the recipient feel better. Doing good for others makes you feel good about yourself. And, guys always remember a man will never be shot while doing the dishes.

A virtual hug to all. Peace be with you. Now, where is that dark chocolate?

A Sunday morning love story

Since I am tired of writing about “he who shall not be named,” let me offer a quick love story. It is all true and happened to a good friend and his charming and funny wife, who passed way too early.

My friend Jack was divorced with two sons. He was also a talented consultant who was devoted to his clients. He traveled to an internal two day meeting in the headquarter city of his company.

There he met Paula who was in for the same meeting from a different office three states away. They hit it off extremely well, but the flirtatious relationship was limited to just that. They returned to their cities parting on good terms.

Just before the seminar, Jack had shared his frustration with David, another consultant in a different office, who was delinquent on an assignment for his client. Again, Jack was devoted to his clients.

David felt badly for slighting the client and Jack, so he sent him a card saying “You are in my thoughts,” signing it with a big scribbled “D.” The card arrived after Jack returned from the seminar.

The card made Jack wonder who had sent it. To him, the scribbled “D” resembled a “P.” He was not certain, but hopeful that it was from Paula. So, he sheepishly called her and asked if she had sent such a note and, if she did, the feeling was reciprocal. Paula said she had not, but wished that she had. She had similar feelings.

So, with a misinterpreted card about a different issue, two kindred spirits had the most straightforward of conversations. They remained in love until she passed away. They were a delightful couple. My wife liked Paula so much, they would get together when Jack and I traveled.

When I think back on this, it is like an adult’s version of anonymous Valentine Card. It wasn’t until later that Jack learned of the real author of the card. As I got to know the author later, he liked to retell the story as well. Everyone likes a good love story.

She said yes

She said yes. I┬áproposed thirty Valentine’s Days ago and the answer was yes. It still is. We will be celebrating our 30th anniversary later this year and will be empty nesters to boot. We will not know how to act sans children under the roof. We will miss them greatly as they are away at college and working, but we will actually be able to do more impromptu escapades.

My wife still is the “girl who holds the world in a paper cup” the wonderful phrase coined in “Danny’s Song.” People would describe her as genuine. She is that and more. She is a great listener and our kids feel comfortable telling her things that they may not with another mother. If she has a fault it is being there too much for others, sometimes making their problems, hers. Sometimes, she attracts people who need an audience having worn out all their other audiences. This can wear her down on occasion.

Yet, she has good friends who she relishes being around. She loves her lunches with the girls and they will be out for hours. I am sure the waiter will be looking at his watch when they are having a fun lunch. My old school friends and their wives love her as well. When we get together when I return home, we have been known to have three-hour lunches catching up, laughing and crying over old stories.

We yin and yang well together. She is easily the best half of the family and makes me a better person. We are imperfect people and parents, but we tend to be consistent with our conversations with our children discussing who needs to nudge or ask a question. We have had a wonderful journey together so far and look forward to the next chapter. She said yes. Yay, for our team.