Ten years ago, I wrote a post about the Top Ten Most Romantic gifts my husband has ever given me. The List hasn’t changed much. This year, we have added one of the best gifts ever, though – Time.

After nearly fifty years in medicine, Wendell has come home. At least temporarily. Who knows what God has ahead for the work of our hands, as the Bible says? But today, for this season, we are having more time together than ever in our marriage. And, we are loving it. We share a good bit of it with the children and grandchildren. That is a plus.

These good times are made possible by another gift, though. Eighteen years ago on Valentine’s Day, we faced one of our darkest moments. A long-time addiction that had hovered in the shadows was finally exposed. Wendell gave me the gift of his sobriety that day. It took me a little longer to acknowledge my role of denial and deflection.

In AA circles, we say that alcoholism (or addiction) is a cunning and baffling enemy. It took a lot of hard work to get where we are today. It takes cooperation with the Holy Spirit, honesty with ourselves and others, and loads of mercy and grace to stay here. So, Happy Valentine’s Day to us. And thank God for the intervention eighteen years ago that was better than any box of chocolates we ever ate.

(If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, we can point you to help. Let us know.)