Valentine's Day Tribute

Many of you have commented on your enjoyment and appreciation of our seasonal artistic renditions of our “Skully” logo. For these creative designs — I must give credit and a shout-out to my favorite “In-House” artist, Garcy — my daughter.

This season’s design is very near and dear to my heart as it pays tribute to my late husband (Garcy’s father) Joe. “Add some hearts…and a blue rose to the design.” I asked her before she embarked on yet another hand-drawn version of our logo.

Why the blue rose you may ask?

Well…I believe the story is best told in Joe’s own words — written within our wedding program amongst the schedule, thank yous, and acknowledgments:

 

The Story of the Blue Rose

 

As you all have probably seen (and perhaps ad nauseam), blue roses have dotted and graced invitations, decorations, correspondence, etc., for our wedding, so we wanted to let you all know the story of how that came to be. When we first moved into our house last year, we (well, specifically Joe) became obsessed with growing roses. While we were picking out some bareroot breeds one day at Armstrong’s, Lori happened upon a picture of one she liked: it was called “Blue Nile” and the rose had a vivid blue tint. Joe proposed to Lori on January 20, under the auspices that she had to dig up a hard (and perhaps dead) object he had hid while trying to garden the day before. She pulled a strongbox out of the ground which Joe had planted as a diversion and while she tried to determine what she had dug up, Joe came forward with a Blue Nile bareroot rose bush with Lori's engagement ring draped on it. However, when the rose bloomed — which was the first flower in the couple’s new garden — it wasn't exactly blue. The bloom was purplish. At that moment, Lori and Joe realized that the picture they had seen at Armstrong’s months before had faded so badly, the rose had looked blue. We have since found out there is no such thing as a blue rose, but we like to think that's symbolic. Out of all the people in the world, we found what we once thought was elusive: our soulmate, our better half…each other.

Valentine’s days with Joe were always memorable. Home-cooked gourmet meals of my choice, handwritten love notes and yes, lots of roses — many of which he grew, tended to, and then clipped and presented to me as a bouquet not just on Valentine’s day but throughout the year.
After Joe died, this so-called holiday turned from one of joyous celebration to a painful reminder of love lost. From fresh lobster and dense and decadent homemade chocolate cake to a “loving” offering by my father to pay for a tank of gas on this special day. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciated the gas and the gesture but it just couldn’t compete with years of heartfelt spoiling I had grown to cherish.

From the first one spent alone, I suddenly realized how obnoxiously in-your-face Valentine’s day can be when not sharing it with the one you love. A constant reminder everywhere you go - buy flowers, gift chocolates, send cards, and on and on. But after a few years, I learned to embrace the day despite its silly underlying message that “today is the day - the one and only day to express your love.” I think there are moments in every day that are worthy of sharing our love - whether it's sending a note of loving appreciation, indulging in self-care such as a sweet splurge or treating yourself to a massage, or reflecting on someone and how they made a loving difference in your life…because whether they are here or not their love is always with us.

Today I will reflect on the times spent with Joe. I will reminiscence our loving adventures together. I will laugh, I will smile, I will most definitely cry, and I will miss — but I will be thankful for the memories we shared and what our relationship taught me about love.
Oh, and…I will eat cake. Lots of chocolate cake.


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