I know people have different feelings about valentine's day and many say it is a commercialized holiday and has no significance but to me February 14th has a lot of significance. It is the date when I found out that Sonja would be my forever valentine.
The story begins before the 14th of course but we will start there anyways. The 14th was a nerve wracking day for me. It was the day that Roger and Sandy Nelson were coming into Chattanooga Tn to visit there daughter for the weekend. I can't remember all the details but I know that Roger was in the south for a several week long business trip and so Sandy decided to fly down and spend her valentine weekend with him (and see Sonja).
So no matter what all the details were it worked out that Sonja and I were sitting at the airport with Roger waiting for Sandy's flight to come in. Sonja knew that I wanted to talk to her dad alone so she made an excuse to go to the bathroom and left us alone together, him reading the newspaper left behind by another traveler and me trying to build up the nerve to ask him permission to marry his little girl. I'm not sure how long it took me to finally build up my nerve and tell him that I wanted to talk to him. But when I finally started talking it all poured out, I think what I said was something to the extent that 'I really love his daughter and wanted to ask her to marry me and I was asking him for his permission to marry her.' (Imagine that as a run on sentence said really quick by a nervous teenager). I remember him putting down his paper and reading the headline which said "wow her for valentine's day" or something like that. He then made some quip that this would definately wow Sandy. He then very graciously told me that he would have to talk to Sandy before he could give me an answer. I was ok with that and said I understood.
We sat in a little bit of awkwardness until Sonja came back from the bathroom and joined us. (As an aside, Sonja said that she could see us from the bathroom and could tell that I hadn't asked yet. So she kept staying in the bathroom. If I remember correctly she ended up cleaning the counters and the mirrors with the avialable paper towels to keep herself busy.) Well Sonja came back and joined us and her dad talked to her a little bit and not long afterwards her mom's plane landed and we went and met her at the gates (boy isn't that dating this story.) Sandy greeted all of us and gave us big hugs and then we all went off to collect her luggage.
So there we were Roger and Sandy walking in front talking and catching up a little and Sonja and I following behind them a couple of steps making conversation and wondering if he had told her yet. Then as we were almost to the baggage claim area Sandy made a sudden stop and turned around and threw her arms around me and gave me a kiss on the cheek and said "welcome to the family." To this sudden exclamation Roger, in protest, said "I haven't given him my answer yet." I didn't need an answer from Roger at that point though because I knew that the answer was going to be yes.
February 15th is a good day to remember also. After morning service as we were walking out of Highland Park Baptist church into a beautiful sunny and warm day Roger stopped me as we were going down the steps heading towards the car for lunch and informed me officially that I had his and Sandy's permission to ask their daughter Sonja to marry me.
So that is why valentine's day is a special day for me and no matter how commercialized it becomes it will always be a day of celebration of my love for my forever valentine.