This past Valentines Day, as I was clocking out of my shift , a woman wearing a light green vest walked into the department asking for me. One of the hospital volunteers. At first I was thinking that someone needed me to stock something up, and I was prepared to ask what she needed of me. As I walked toward the front entrance I see Courtni’s younger brothers at the front desk. I greet them and see that they have something for me from their sister- a giant red envelope containing a card and and a heart shaped boxes of different flavored chocolates. Never before had anyone dropped something special off for me at my job, especially around that particular time of year. You can imagine the expression on my face when I got to my car after receiving such glad tidings.
This year I wanted to make Valentines Day extra special, because it just so happened to be the first one in which Courtni had someone special. Not long before this day, I contemplated what I was going to do for her.
I remembered the letters I had given Courtni last year in celebration of one of our anniversaries. I gotten the idea online to creative a bunch of Open When Letters to be read at certain times. Examples: Open when we’re a distance away, Open When You’re Feeling Sad. I decided now was the golden opportunity to create an Open When Letter Box.
I must have made at least three visits to Walmart during the week of Valentine’s Day as I collected the materials I needed. Can’t remember the last time I worked with a glue gun before this month. I’m certain I burned my fingers over 5 times, but it was all worth it.
First, I used a good sized black box, which had contained one of my birthday gifts. Upon the top outside of the box I hot glued a cut out rectangular piece of white poster board. On it I drew(in different colored markers) five rectangles reducing in size. In the center, I wrote in cursive Open When Letter Box. In the right corner above the words I drew five waved lines tailing off a circle, with a heart inside.
(Forgive me. I’m bad at explaining and giving steps)
The top inside of the box I decorated with positive words; her favorite scripture; a common conversation between us; a free verse poem written by me; illustrations of her likes; and a picture of her arms around me with the sun setting. The craft materials used were magazines, newspapers, construction paper, foam paper, scissors hot glue, and ink pens.
(Above: Top Inside)
At first I wasn’t going to put anything on the surface of the bottom half , but I had one picture of me and Courtni that I had yet to use. That picture was from the first day we had hung out together. What I going to do? As I lightly tapped a pen against a leg of my desk, I thought about what to do, until a single word sprang into my mind- sunshine. Arming myself with a pair of scissors, and noticing the already maimed cardboard on the floor, I went back to work.
1. Measured and cut out a rectangle from a poster board to fit inside the bottom. Glued it to the bottom.
2. Traced around both faces of picture with a cup. Did the same tracing and cutting with a yellow foam sheet. Glued both cirlces together. Glued them close to the right edge of the box.
3. One orange foam sheet was cut into small triangles to go around the picture, depicting a Sunshine.
4. Green foam sheet was cut up and down, crookedly, and like a wave to give the depiction of grass on the ground. Glued towards the bottom edge.
5. In multicolored, sticky foam letters: I Found My Sunshine was placed on the left of the sunshine.
(Above: bottom box)
I never imagined doing something like this, but honesty I am glad that I did what I did. I see my mother work on similar tasks like for her church primary sabbath school class, Pathfinders, and for church socials. As I looked at the finished box, still a little warm from glue, I said to myself, “You are definitely your mother’s son”.
Valentine’s Day afternoon, as we got into the car ready to go out to dinner, I presented Courtni with her gifts one at a time. The first was a box of chocolates with strawberry filling. The second was a stuffed dog, which she named Marco. We almost decided on Bark Barker. 😆 The box I saved for last. With a smile, she could not believe what I had made. Quite frankly neither could I. I had thought the sunshine was a bit sloppy due to dry glue slightly escaping from a few of the triangles. But she reassured me that she loved it.
Anyone can go out of their way and spend their money, but in my opinion it takes a lot of creativity and care to put something together with your hands for someone who means a lot to you.
Even though we as people do not need one day in particular to show someone that they matter to us, consider Valentine’s Day as just a reminder to love others as you would yourself. You yourself would like the best things in life. Why not do the same for someone else?