My Husband, My Valentine

Yesterday, as I stood outside our house ready to being my morning walk, I noticed a somewhat familiar car parked on the street. I see this car from time to time, but I don't know the owner.

I noticed an envelope with writing tucked into the windshield. I'm nosy, so I got closer so I could read the note, expecting to see the standard, "You parked too far away from the curb, you big jerk." Or, "If you don't move your car, I'm calling the City."

Instead, the note read this:

"Check your water/anti-freeze level. There is some drip on the ground. Keep an eye on your temp gauge too. Maybe nothing, or something that could cause bigger problems. Tim." Following the note, Tim left his phone number.

Tim is my husband.

Tim was born on Valentine's Day, and while most people think Valentine's Day is a silly consumer holiday, for me, it's a really nice reminder that I married a guy who devotes his life to doing loving things. Tim is a living, breathing random act of kindness. He's also extremely handy, which explains why he took the time to alert the person with the dripping car; if they need help, they can call him. It won't matter what time they call. Tim will answer cheerfully, connect the dots that the stranger on the phone is someone he offered to help, and next thing you know he'll be grabbing his tools and keys, bounding out the door to lend a hand.

Tim is my Valentine.

Tim loves Valentine's Day because even though it's his birthday, he spends the day spreading love to those close to him. One Valentine's Day when I worked in a large open office space, I left my desk to go to the restroom, and when I walked back to the sales floor, women began circling me and saying dramatically, "Oh, Amy!" For a moment, I thought somebody died, then I noticed people standing and pointing to the large wall of windows at the front of the building. Propped up against the window near my desk was a brightly-colored, 8-foot wooden heart with a Valentine's message scribbled in chalk professing Tim's love for me. It was over the top and wildly embarrassing and I loved it. My female coworkers loved it. One of my male coworkers asked if he could borrow it to give to his girlfriend. Smart guy.

When Tim left the note on a stranger's car, he didn't know that I would see it. He had no idea that I would stop and read it and find myself standing in the cold, wiping away tears because of the immense gratitude I have for his consistent thoughtfulness. Our marriage isn't always a sunny day with a large wooden heart. We've weathered some really difficult times together and we are far from perfect. However, Tim's note reminded me of countless changed flat tires, of a warm New Year's meal delivered to a homeless man in our neighborhood, of the Saturday mornings I would peep out the window and see Tim washing our cars, but washing our neighbor's car as well, just because. It reminded me that our kids take the time to do kind gestures for others because of the example Tim sets every day.

Tim's note on the car wasn't intended for my eyes, but it served an altogether different purpose. His note is my Valentine, and I'll cherish its image forever.