Memories of past Valentine’s Days


Two years ago was our last Valentine’s Day together. Daniel had come home from town a few days before with heart balloons fastened to a clear container hosting a huge chocolate kiss wrapped in red.

Knowing my weakness of saving things for the perfect occasion and no longer as fresh tasting, he remarked, “Now don’t wait to eat it until it is not good anymore!”

One day, when the children weren’t watching, I carefully took it out and shaved a bit off the backside, and re-wrapped it.

Soon after Daniel passed, I didn’t know how I could possibly eat it, knowing that it would no longer be on my dresser. Two years later, it is still sitting there.

The children keep asking me if they can eat some of it. My response remains the same, “If I eat it, it’s gone! It won’t be there for me to enjoy anymore.”

It doesn’t make sense in their young minds why you’d want it if you’d not even enjoy it by munching it down.

I don’t have Daniel this year as I did for 12 years, yet the Lover of my soul who designed me in my mother’s womb holds me and lavishes all the love I need. Do I miss Daniel? Deeply. Does God provide? Yes, completely.

A year ago, when February 14th rolled around, the ache was coupled with peace. That morning, God gave me a beautiful sunrise. I stood inside my east kitchen window, soaking it in. Quite intrigued by the splendor of it as it circled the south, I opened the south window. I leaned out, intrigued by what met my gaze. Soft pink ringlets of clouds floated against the beautiful blue morning sky. Rising from the east, they spread across the sky and banked in the west. I kept watching. In awe, I realized that before me, a few pink rings formed into hearts. I questioned my sanity, yet it was too pronounced to deny. As the pink hearts disappeared, several more made their appearance. It was more than I could fathom. By the time I returned to the kitchen and real life, I had counted seven rings, which had transformed into pink hearts.

In a new way, I was prepared to face the day without Daniel. I would not be alone; my Maker would accompany me in an authentic way. Not only do we claim him as our Maker, but certainly the Maker of the universe.

Daniel was delighted each time I made this Valentine dessert especially for him. Enjoy!


Brownie layer:

1 package chocolate cake mix

¾ cup cold butter

1 egg, slightly beaten


8 ounces cream cheese

1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup whipped topping


3 cups milk

1 package (3.9 ounces) chocolate instant pudding

1 package (3.9 ounces) vanilla instant pudding

1 teaspoon instant coffee, opt

3 cups whipped topping

Chocolate shavings, optopnal

In a large bowl cut butter into cake mix until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Add egg, mix well.

Press into a greased 9 by 13 cake pan. Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes or until set.

Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar, fold in 1 cup whipped topping. Spread over cooled crust, refrigerate until set. In a bowl whisk together milk and both puddings. Let stand for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Spread over cream cheese mixture. Top with 3 cups whipped topping. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Delicious served with ice cream.

Gloria Yoder is an Amish mom, writer, and homemaker in rural Illinois. The Yoders travel primarily by horse-drawn buggy and live next to the settlement’s one-room school-house. Readers can write to Gloria at 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427.

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