My First Valentine

Dear Mom,

unnamed-20Happy Valentine’s Day. Your card may arrive a day or two late. I intended to mail it in the middle of the week so it would arrive for you on Friday like your card for me with Snoopy on it (as always) arrived yesterday . Then I got really busy and I forgot. I bought the card on Monday and I had it at home all ready to go. When I left for work Wednesday morning I meant to bring it with me but I was really tired from working late on Tuesday. I figured I still had time to mail it on Thursday though so when I got home on Wednesday night I meant to get it out and sign it, but then I returned a bunch of emails from students and clients. Then I fell asleep on the couch about midnight. When I woke up on Thursday morning I did some writing and I had the card ready to go. I wanted to let Christiana sleep in that day so I ordered an Uber car instead of asking her to drive me to the train. When I ran out the door I left the card on the table by accident. I was really mad at myself when I finally remembered. When I finally remembered was at about 10 p.m. that night when I got home after a day at work, a yoga class, a dinner meeting with a friend who needed to practice for his Story Lab show next Wednesday and then a meeting with the guy who is going to let us use his restaurant for our monthly Emerging Into Joy music and story night. I still had one more chance though. On Thursday night after I started the laundry, I put the card right by my back pack so I could take it with me on Friday morning when I left for yoga at 5:00 a.m. In the morning I had to run downstairs to get my yoga clothes out of the dryer at about 4:45 a.m. and when I put them in my backpack I accidentally moved the card and it never left the house with me. I realized this when I got to the gym to teach yoga. I was so frustrated! But I decided that while I was driving to work that I would just stop and get another card so I did. When I got to the parking lot at work I had just enough time to walk to the post office, buy a stamp and mail you the new card. I had to walk about four blocks to the post office and it was cold. And I forgot my hat and gloves so I could hear your voice in my head like when I was a little kid saying, “Don’t forget to wear your hat and gloves or you’ll catch a cold…” I got to the post office and the automated postage machine was out of service. I was really bummed because that meant I was going to have to stand in the line at the attended part of the post office to buy a stamp. That usually ends poorly. When I walked in the lobby a clerk said, “I’m sorry sir unless you already have postage we can’t help you. Our entire system is down and we can’t sell postage.” My first reaction was “this is outrageous!” I’d been trying so hard to get this darn card in the mail and then when I finally have everything in order I get roadblocked in the most unlikely way. All of this leads me to remember that as good a planner as I am I still need to be more focused sometimes. It also leads me to a question Mom?

How is it that no matter how busy you get you have never ever failed to be too busy to remember to do something for me?

I guess I’ve still got some stuff to learn from you about thoughtfulness and caring. Everything I’m doing with my life right now I owe to you (and Dad). You were my first and my best mentors. I couldn’t be more grateful! I love you both so much…


About Jim Herbert

I've been wanting to write my whole life. By age 45 it had amounted to nothing more than a storage locker of half full journals and a lot of unfulfilled dreams. Then Paris in the fall of 2011 happened. It was the catalyst I needed to consistently blog. At first I had a hard time hitting the publish button, but now two blog sites and over 300 posts later I'm hitting my stride. I'm also a budding speech writer. I've recently been heavily involved in the Chicago Storytelling scene and have also won the Chicago Toastmasters Area 66 International Speech Contest. Check out our website at for more details about the amazing things that are happening in my life. A book or two are nearing completion. With another Paris trip on tap for Easter of 2015 I can only imagine that there are Infinite Possibilities on the horizon!!!
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