Happy Valentine’s Day, Los Altos
I’ve been thinking again. I’m thinking about who I should wish a happy Valentine’s Day. When we were kids, my brother Michael and I would buy a little package of valentines, put a name on each of them, and pass them out to all of our friends. I think we did this until we were 30 or 40 years old.
When we were a little older, we both married and had our own separate families, our own separate valentines. It was Michael and Anna and me and Therese. We were all in love and we were truly each other’s valentine.
Through the years, as our families grew, so did our valentines. Pretty soon we were sending out about a thousand little valentines. Every year it seemed like more and more little valentines were all lined up in a neat little row. That’s the way it went up until today. This year I’ll be sending valentines out all by myself because Michael died a few months ago.
So, this year, I’ll be sending valentines to my family and my brother’s family just like I did every year before. I’ll post a link to Paul McCartney’s version of “My Valentine” on Facebook just like I did last year wishing happy Valentine’s Day to all of my female friends there.
Of course, I have a very special Valentine for my wife Therese, whom I love so very, very much. She has been my special Valentine for many, many years and for that I am so very grateful. I hope she will be my special Valentine for many years to come.
Today, I have a special Valentine for someone I’ve never met formally, but she will remember me for years to come, I’m sure. She’ll remember me because I so rudely ruined her day. For her, I was the “Ass of the Year” and deservedly so, for I frightened her beyond description.
My encounter with this poor lady was fate. My brother was dying and I was trying to get him to the Veteran’s Hospital in Palo Alto so he could live. I’d never been to this hospital, so of course, I missed the signs and was lost. Somehow, I don’t know how, I ended up on Main Street, Los Altos. The street was crowded and congested with traffic.
I was afraid my brother was going to die on the spot. He was writhing in pain and his breathing was very shallow and labored. I was frantic to find the hospital emergency room but was hopelessly lost. My wife was on the phone, looking at Google Earth to give me directions. I was frantic and afraid.
The car in front of me stopped in the middle of the road. She was waiting for another driver to vacate a parking spot. I could see myself in the mirror, yelling and screaming, like a movie on the big screen. I was banging my fist on the steering wheel and yelling, “Please move, my brother is dying,” “Please!” Of course, the lady only saw an idiot suffering from road rage. My wife listened to all of this on the phone and was trying to calm me with directions.
So there I was, stuck in traffic. My brother was dying and I was frantically trying to save him. I watched all of this in the rear view mirror but was unable to stop or change a thing. I knew I was losing my brother and I was dying right along with him. There was nothing I could do. It was fate.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking about this poor lady even as I watched my brother dying in the hospital. I was angry that he didn’t fight more than he did. I was also angry with myself for my actions toward this poor lady caught in the middle through no fault of her own.
So, here is what I wish to do on this Valentine’s Day. I’m sending a special Valentine card to the mayor of Los Altos in the hope that it will somehow find its way to this poor lady. I ask no forgiveness and I wish only to say I’m so very sorry for my behavior in the middle of her little town. So very, very sorry.
- February 4, 2013 at 10:08 pm