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John Mercure: Mercurey Rising

A Mercure Valentine's Day

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It's the first time this has happened in more than 15 years. It makes me a little sad, but I think I need to get used to it.  I hope I will.  For the first time since they were little girls, Michelle and I won't be spending Valentine's Dinner with Kierra and Aimee.

It all began when the girls were four or five.  Michelle and I had made plans to go out for a nice Valentine's Day Dinner. We were welcoming the little respite from raising energetic twin girls.  As we got ready that evening, the phone rang.  It was our babysitter.  She was sick and had to cancel.  I didn't want to cancel our dinner, so we decided to take the girls with us.  It was a dicey decision. They were toddlers and it was going to be way past their bedtimes.  Thoughts of a quiet, romantic dinner were replaced with internal questions like, "Really? Are we nuts?"

We got to the restaurant and our little girls were little angels. A day that began with thoughts of Michelle and I whispering secrets to each other at dinner ended with our two beautiful girls sharing giggles with everyone in the restaurant.  It was precious.

The next year our new tradition continued. When the girls turned ten we still celebrated Valentines day together. It last every year through middle school. It survived my crazy work schedule.  Snowstorms didn't get in the way.  Boyfriends didn't disrupt it.  Every Valentine's Day was set aside for the four of us. High school came and went, but our tradition didn't.  Every year one of my favorite days was Valentine's Day.  It was a special couple hours spent with the three girls I love more than life itself.  As all my buddies complained about Valentine's Day being a 'Hallmark Holiday' and wasting money on flowers and chocolates,  I just smiled.  I adored Valentine's Day.

This year Syracuse and Ohio State have done what boys and snowstorms and work never could. They have broken our Valentine's Day tradition.  I'm excited to spend tonight with the woman who gave me the gift of Kierra and Aimee. I'm just a little sad that Kierra and Aimee won't be there.


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