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A Valentine

Jerry has macular degeneration now. He almost never drives. He can hardly use his phone because of his limited sight. We’ve had snow on the ground for weeks, and today alone we have received almost six inches of rain. Sort of snow bound here in Crestline.

Yesterday, he said, “Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and I didn’t get you anything.”

I brushed the remarks aside. “Jerry, that doesn’t matter. You know that.”

This morning our furnace quit belching out heat. Jerry traipsed down to the basement. Came back. “The flame is lighting, but the fan doesn’t come on, so then the flame goes off .”

Jerry called Ken, our across-the-street neighbor, who is the best neighbor anyone could possibly want. Ken’s a little younger than we are . . .but still an old man, I suppose. A couple of weeks ago he had cancers removed from his nose and ears, and for a few days when we would see him, the end of his nose would be white . . .with bandages. Both men poked around in the basement.

The called furnace man came. His poking around in the basement led to his saying, “Your furnace is 40 years old, has this and that problem. You need a new one.” We ordered a new one. Wrote a check for half the charge. Will pay the other half when he installs it.

Later I stood by Jerry as he sat on a stool tending the fire in our fireplace. “I’m sorry I didn’t get you anything for Valentine’s Day.”

“Doesn’t matter, now does it?” I placed my hand on his shoulder. “Red hearts, chocolates, cards . . . It really doesn’t matter, Jerry.”

We’ve made babies together. We’ve bought furnaces and paid water bills. Once upon a time we were young, and now we’re old. A time or two, we stared down death. We swatted the tush of our sons, and of our daughter, and now, they with ease, place an arm about the shoulder of a fellow and say, “Let me tell you about Jesus.” We’ve wrecked cars and bought hamburgers and pumped gas and eaten in joints. We’ve settled into the skinny seats of planes, then tramped the ground in countries not our own. We’ve cried in our living room and in our churches. We’ve hooted in laughter. We’ve cooked biscuits and gravy, and grilled spareribs on our back deck. We’ve buried friends. We sleep with Winston, and drive ourselves crazy trying to make him mind us. We’ve looked wide-eyed at our kids as they took us in hand to tell us about Alexa and Siri. We’ve ridden horses in the Sawtooth mountains, and I fell off, and we’ve waterskied, and preached, and taught, and sang. And loved.

A box of chocolates? A rose. A card. Some glitter. . Sorry I didn’t get you anything, Shirley. Are you kidding me?

By Shirley Buxton

Still full of life and ready to be on the move, Shirley at 84 years old feels blessed to have lots of energy and to be full of optimism. She was married to Jerry for 63 years, and grieves yet at his death in August of 2019. They have 4 children, 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren...all beautiful and highly intelligent--of course. :)

21 replies on “A Valentine”

It’s beautiful to know that at 80 you’re happy, healthy & active into blogging.

Your love story should be an inspiration for today’s generation.
Also how cute is your Love ” tomorrow is Valentine’s day, i didn’t get you anything ”
Awww… 💓😍😘💓😍😘



I cried as I read this!!! It is so true and so close to home!! I spent most of Valentines Day at the ER with my hubby and found out on top of the Flu he has a little pneumonia!!😥
It truly doesn’t matter if we got each other anything… just being there for each other speak volumes of our love for each other after 45 years!!
Love you both and so sorry your having to deal with so much!! You are an inspiration to me and with God we can do thi!! ( Hugs!!)❤️

Liked by 1 person

I thought I had an understanding of death and loss for a great part of my life. Neither Jerry or I have ever been ones to put a lot of emphasis in “houses and lands.” In retrospect I see, though, that when I was face to face with the very real possibility of the death of Jerry, the meaning of life blasted my mind as never before. Nothing else matters. You now walk that path, my dear friend. You have the unwelcome, full comprehension of that subject. Continued prayers from the Buxtons, and hundreds– thousands–more are with you. God give healing. God do another miracle for Brother Luke. God give you–and all of us–strength for these days.


This is indeed true love, described in a blog! May you be blessed with many more days together, enjoying life. It really doesn’t matter if it’s chocolates, roses, or a furnace. It’s all about enjoying the journey. You’ve been an inspiration to me, when I grow up I want to be just like you.😀


Spoken with such skill, insight and true love! You take the reader with you on each journey! Please never stop writing! You are so gifted! Happy Valentine’s Day to the both of you!


This is a true testimony of what a valentines gift should be. Love, heartaches, experiences and triumphs of life. Thank you for sharing and being a wonderful example of true love.


I love this Shirley. That’s the stuff of real love indeed. Don and I both had doctor’s appointments today so our Valentine’s Day did include some cards and chocolate – but also driving, doctors, and a late lunch in the car with takout from Jack in the Box. But we were together!

Blessings and hugs to you and Jerry! And I’m glad you’ve ordered a new furnace!!


Together eating at Jack’s can be truly wonderful. The wiser we become, the more we understand it to be the simple things in life which bring us the most joy. I hope to meet your dear husband some day. Blessings to both of you.


Happy Happy Valentine’s Day. Uncle Jerry. & Aunt. Shirley. Hold. You both had a very. Special day With Joy & Happenss. With. The. Grace of. God. .May. God Richly Bless You With Lot More To Come. You Both. Looks. Very Good. Love. You. Both. Very. Very. Much. Cheryl


Cheryl, bless your precious heart for sending us such sweet valentine thoughts. I know you’re going through so much now with your mom. Your Uncle Jerry and I pray for you frequently. Love you so much.


Sis. Buxton, both of you have always touched my life with your special, special kindness. But, tears filled my eyes as i read your blog. I thought …thats what love looks like….its not things, although they are fun, but its shared lives, struggles faced as a team. Forgiveness given and fondness unbound, of gentle tender glances, and desire to stay close.


And you’ve touched the lives of an unknown number with your love, compassion and depth in God.. I will be forever grateful for having both of you as my pastor in my teenage years. I love you both dearly ❤️


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