In case you didn’t read Sunday’s post, I’m doing something a little different this week. In honor of Valentine’s Week, I’ve chosen to host a series of guest posts from some widow friends of mine. Each of these lovely gals will be sharing about their Valentine that now lives in Heaven. To briefly recap, we heard from Candy on Monday, Sheila on Tuesday, Cindy just yesterday, and today we get the pleasure of reading about Buck – Renee’s precious Valentine now residing in Heaven. Renee has been a widow for 3 years (come April), and I’ve been following Renee’s personal blogs, Tandem Journey and Christian Widow’s Walk, for several months now and love her sweet, sweet spirit. Please join me in welcoming Renee to Out of Deep Waters. Please encourage her with a little blog love through comments and prayers. And now…here’s Renee…
My sweetheart was not a wordy man, unless he was talking about his most intense passion…HUNTING!
Since he was a man of few words, it would stand to reason that he wouldn’t be known for writing very much either. He would always let Hallmark speak for him on birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions. I was known to save little notes he would write, such as messages to let me know of his whereabouts, just so I would have something in his handwriting in my possession. When you live with a non-writer, a note saying, “Girfren, I went to the hardware store. Be back soon. Luv Ya, Bofren”, had great significance!
Early into our marriage, I told Buck it was a desire of my heart to have a love letter from him some day. He understood that words were important to me, and he never seemed to mind that I was wordy enough for two people when it came to expressing what was in my heart. Maybe that was another reason why God brought us together. I was never content to let someone else speak for me. I was always compelled to pour my heart into any card I chose for him. Though I was also verbal in my appreciation of him, I wanted him to have written “evidence” of my respect and devotion for him, as writing my feelings made it easier to convey the truth about how I felt about him.
After we were married for five years, we celebrated Valentine’s Day by attending a Family Life Marriage Conference “Weekend to Remember” held in Hershey, Pennsylvania. We really enjoyed the speakers and it was good for us to address some topics we had never discussed before as a couple. One of the strongly encouraged activities was to write love letters to each other, much to Buck’s dismay! I knew him well enough to know that such an assignment would be asking too much of him to produce during the weekend, so I let him know that I had no such expectation. But, I also reminded him that it would be the best gift he could ever give me, if he was motivated to bless me in such a special way. He was so relieved that I let him off the hook! I didn’t want him to feel pressured, knowing it wasn’t going to be easy for him to try to put his feelings into words. However, he did promise that he would write that
letter after we got home.
Nine months later, he kept that promise, and it was the most perfect way to celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary! It was my favorite gift from him by far and the best gift he ever gave me! In his letter, he let me know that he made a commitment to God and a group of men, asking them to hold him accountable to fulfill this important desire of my heart. And to make it even more meaningful, he wrote it while he was hunting (since he had procrastinated and our anniversary was upon him)! I could picture him in his camouflage, sitting and leaning against a tree with his shiny, white book in his hands and gun lying on the ground, looking up occasionally to see if anything had snuck up on him – the ultimate sacrifice for any deer hunter! I call that a demonstration of true love! I can’t think of anything that I cherish more than that handwritten collection of my precious man’s words, describing his love for me!
I have recently found a new, favorite writer. In one of her blog entries last week, Ann Voskamp described her husband, and it made me think of my Buck. On her website, A Holy Experience, Ann refers to her husband as the Farmer, and she pens this about him, “The Farmer writes little with pens. He’s a man who prefers to write his love letters with his life.” If Buck had never written that love letter, I still would have countless, although less tangible, memories to treasure, because much like “the Farmer”, “the Hunter” wrote countless love letters with his life everyday.
How blessed I am to have a real, ink on paper, love letter as well…one of the most powerful demonstrations of Buck’s desire to make his woman happy!
While I was searching for photos of Buck decked out in his camo, I came across this Valentine card from him that I had forgotten about, and it did me in! I will consider it my Valentine for this year.
Lord, please convey my message of love to “the Hunter” and give him a big, bear hug for me!