February Top 10 List

“All you need is love.  But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”  – Charles M Schulz

The grief process is certainly unpredictable.  The sentimental girl in me likes to reflect (probably way too much) on where I was this exact same time during the previous year.  This has been a difficult month of reflection.  It has been difficult to write or maybe just too painful to do so.  Be that as it may, my Mother was not one to “wallow” in self-pity, and she would be telling me to move on and think of good things. Please forgive my lack of posting for the month of January.

Good things.  There are many good thoughts when I think of the month of February.  Mother’s birthday is February 13.  I loved being able to celebrate her birthday because I knew, in some tiny way, we could make her feel special the way she did for us throughout the year.  The King girls love Valentine’s Day.  Mother always had a way of making each holiday special, and Valentine’s Day was no exception. I figured this was a great month for a top 10 list.  Here are some of the ways she used to make February special.

10. Fragrance –  Each season has its own fragrance. We decided these smells over the years and most have been around a very long time.  We love to use Yankee Candle’s “Fresh Cut Roses” fragrance during January and February.  It is difficult to find this time of year, but Mother and I associate the rose smell with Valentine’s Day and her birthday.  We thought it was a perfect match for this time of year.

fresh cut roses candle

9.  Brighton Jewelry – Mother was a hard one to buy gifts for.  She was the ultimate gift giver so finding the perfect gift for her was sometimes very difficult.  There are a few things one can never have too much of, and Brighton Jewelry is definitely one of them.  Daddy and I visited our beautiful friends at Wrapsodies each February and purchased pieces of Brighton for Mother.  I wear something every day that belonged to Mother, usually her favorite bracelet or necklace.

This is the locket Mother gave me for Valentine's Day 2011

This is the Brighton locket Mother gave me for Valentine’s Day 2011

8.  The Hallmark Valentine Stuffed Animal – Mom called every February from the Hallmark store to make sure she and I didn’t buy the same animal.  The children always get one from me as well.  We have a nice little collection of these from previous years.

One of the many we have now

One of the many we have now

7. THE CAKES! – We have THE BEST cake lady.  She has become a dear friend throughout the years and is one of the most talented people I have ever known.  Chris Patrick always does a stellar job in making our cakes so very special.  Mother loved her so very much, and I am so thankful for these beautiful, edible memories.

Mom's birthday cake from 2011

Mom’s birthday cake from 2011

Mom's 60th birthday cake-2012

Mom’s 60th birthday cake-2012

6.  The Clothes – Mother always bought the children clothes.  For the month of February, she usually bought something pink, red, and/or something with hearts on it.

Valentine's Day fell on a Sunday this particular year.

Valentine’s Day fell on a Sunday this particular year.

5.  Cute Cupcakes – Mother loved William Sonoma.  She always bought the cupcake decorating kits from there, and the children loved decorating cupcakes for each holiday because of that.



4.  Special Chocolate – Mother loved The Fresh Market so the past few years we received boxed chocolate from there.  For as long as I can remember, Mother and Daddy gave me a box of chocolate for Valentine’s Day.  My earliest memory of this was when I received a Whitman’s heart shaped box of chocolates with a doll attached to it.  I can’t believe a found a picture of one of these!  It’s a little scary looking now, but I LOVED getting these each year when I was a little girl.

My first memory of getting one of these- 2nd grade- 1983

My first memory of getting one of these- 2nd grade- 1983

3.  Early Phone Calls – Mother believed the first thing you should hear on a holiday or birthday was a special greeting acknowledging the day.  She never missed one.  I was very accustomed to the phone ringing before walking out the door to go to work.  It only lasted about 30 seconds.  “Happy Valentine’s Day!  Hope you have a good day.  I love you.”

2.  Fresh Flowers – It didn’t matter what kind.  Mother and I both love the simplicity of one flower in a bud vase scattered throughout the house or a big arrangement for the center of the table.  I knew she would love the smell and the look of roses for her 60th birthday last year.  We used 60 roses arranged in the dining room.  She loved it.

60 roses. 60 balloons. 60 letters of memories.

60 roses. 60 balloons. 60 letters of memories.

1.  TIME – Mother loved spending time with her family so much.  The gift of time was very special to her.  We spent time together a lot, but on special occasions, there was always that little bit extra.  I would give anything for more time today, but I am so very grateful for the memories I possess of special moments we did have together.