In 1980, my dad and mom got a divorce. Dad was difficult and put us five children against Mom. But Mom was a good person and a hard worker.
Dad got custody of us, and Mom left with her purse and suitcase of clothes after 21 years of marriage. She got a waitress job in Princeton, and a kind senior couple rented her their empty upstairs bedroom for $25 a month.
As often as we could, my older sister, Lori, with her baby girl, would take my two younger brothers and me to see Mom. That one Sunday evening came after Valentine’s Day.
While visiting with Mom, she gave us all Valentine’s Day gifts. I then felt bad that we hadn’t thought to bring her something. Later in the week, I called Mom and thanked her for the Valentine gifts and apologized that we didn’t have anything for her.
To my surprise, Mom told me that Steven, my youngest brother, did give her a Valentine. When we all left Sunday evening, he waited until everyone went downstairs and pulled out of his pocket a Ziggy heart-shaped Valentine box with four pieces of chocolate candy in it.
On top of the box read the most beautiful thing: No matter what the question is, love is always the answer.
It touched my mom’s heart, and mine, and we both cried.
It was a tough time for all of us, but my 9-year-old brother’s thoughtful, kind heart toward my mom, and Ziggy’s good words, helped give direction in our messed-up lives.
Love is the answer.
Don’t you think so, too?