My dad did this for me when I was little and probably had no clue how special it would become to me.
I have two sisters and no brothers so my dad was quite out-numbered when we were growing up. I’m sure he wanted a son but instead of pining over what he didn’t have, he spoiled my sisters and me. No Valentine’s Day or Sweetest Day went by without a little something special. He loved my mom deeply and set a good example for how a girl should be treated.
16 years ago when I was 12, he gave me a small box for Valentine’s Day that I wasn’t allowed to open: a dark red tin with a black and white photo of a boy giving a girl a rose on it. Inside, a small envelope that read, “Don’t open until your wedding day. Love Dad.” I wanted to open it then but of course I didn’t. Instead I set it on my desk where I could see it every day until my wedding day.
Being 12 I assumed that it wouldn’t be long until I was getting married and opening that little box. I assumed that I would marry after high school and opening my little box would be a part of my wedding day routine. But of course that didn’t happen. I graduated from high school and then college without an engagement ring. I moved away, went to grad school and learned to make my own way in life. I moved 4 times after college and with each move the little tin Valentine’s Box was placed back on my desk, dresser or window sill as I waited to finally open it. By the time I was 25 I felt like I would never get married. I would often get discouraged but when I saw that little tin I knew that my dad believed that I would get married and I had hope.
It might have just been a small tin box but to me it was full of hope.
Then I turned 26 and I met Brian and I quickly knew that he was the one. He was perfect. Thanks to my dad I had high expectations and Brian met them. He swept me off my feet and the wedding was set for April 11, 2015.
It was decided that the wedding would be in my home town in Ohio and we would live in Brian’s home town in Kentucky. Therefore the wedding took more careful planning than some. I spent a week going over everything that we needed for the wedding and honeymoon. As I’m sure you have guessed by now, the little Valentine’s Day tin made it into my suitcase.
The morning of my wedding was surreal. It felt like a dream as my hair was braided and my make up applied. In the blink of an eye it was time to get to the church and we walked over and hid in one of the back classrooms. Once my veil was in place and my shoes were on I remembered my little Valentine’s Day tin and sent someone to find my dad so I could open it with him.
After 15 years of waiting, I finally got to open the little envelope inside my Valentine’s Day tin.
Inside was a cute little Valentine with a dog on (very appropriate for 12 year old me) and a little note that told me that he loved me and was proud of me. That means a lot. My dad gave me a card that wouldn’t be opened for 15 years and still wrote that he was proud of who I became even though he didn’t know who I would become.
That little tin is my favorite Valentine’s Day gift ever. Of course Brian and I have really only had one Valentine’s Day together so that could change but that little tin will always have a special place in my heart because it gave me hope when I was lonely. Now it sits on the dresser that Brian and I share, where it will stay for many years to come.
Fathers, if you have a little girl teach her that she is a precious gift and deserves the best. Go the extra mile to show her that you love her and are proud of who she is. Give her a Valentine’s Day gift with meaning. The example that you set for her will determine how she lets men treat her for the rest of her life.
Have you received or given any special Valentine’s Day gifts?
Happy Valentine’s Day, friends. Make it count.
A huge shout out to Megan of A Walk with the Moon Photography who helped capture this special moment.
Today I am linking up with Love the Everyday.