| THE BEST VALENTINE:MY DAUGHTER
When I turned 75, my daughter, Iris, sent me a card that made me cry. I know I'll get another one for Valentine's Day. We were together in October, yet it feels like years. When I look into her eyes, I see my sun, my moon, and my heart. She is my first-born, my only daughter, and my only surviving child. Her brothers, Marc and Daniel, died from muscular dystrophy, at the ages of 19 and 22, three days apart. During their lives, she became even dearer to me because she was always so kind and gentle with them. I was well aware that she was sometimes angry, even jealous of the attention her brothers required, but she never showed any resentment towards them. She continued to be "the best sister ever," as Marc described her. She babysat, and helped me take care of the boys . She came along on outings, put up with stares from strangers, and much more.
When we brought our baby, Danny, home after being hospitalized for a month, she sobbed.
"What's the matter, sweetie?" I asked. " Aren't you glad to see your brother?" "I am happy she sniffled, I just don't know why I am crying." I never realized that a 6 year old could cry for joy, as adults do. As the children grew up I tried to give my daughter the attention she needed, and, although she seemed satisfied, I was not. I wanted to give her more.
Then it came time for her to go to college, and she insisted she wanted to go to Wayne State University in downtown Detroit. Her friends were going away to school. She had the grades to go anywhere she pleased. Why would she want a local university, my husband, Mel, and I wondered. When we insisted on an explanation she asked, "How will you manage here without me?" We told her," Iris, you've done enough. It's your turn." At Michigan State University, she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree, and worked as dental hygienist for years, until neck and back pain forced her to retire.
As we have aged, we have become even more important to each other. We talk or E-mail every day. My eyes are older now, not so clear. The same can be said about my hearing and a few other things. But when my daughter looks at me, I can still see the love, compassion and devotion in her eyes.
The best thing I can wish anyone for Valentine's Day, is to be blessed with someone who gives unquestioning love. It doesn't have to be a daughter. It may be a son, a niece, or a husband, but who-ever it is, when you have someone like Iris, you will have the best reason to live up to what you see in their eyes.