Valentine’s Day Guest Columnist Vivian Kirkfeld: From That Grim Day Came A Family Of Five

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Vivian Kirkfield is a wife of 44 years, a mother of three (Jason, Peter and Caroline) and an educator and author who lives in the Colorado Rockies. She’s passionate about picture books, enjoys hiking and fly-fishing with her husband, and loves reading, crafting and cooking with kids during school and library programs. To learn more about her mission to help every child become a reader and a lover of books, please visit her Positive Parental Participation blog or contact her at vivian@positiveparentalparticipation.com.
Dear Jason, Peter and Caroline,

Your future dad and I met as freshmen in college. I sat in front of him in English 1.1 and he sat in front of me in Social Science. Both of us were dating other people pretty seriously. And so for the first two months of the Fall semester, we were just classmates who spoke with each other as we walked into or out of the room.

Then came November 22, 1963. The intercom crackled. “The President is dead!” a voice declared.

For several moments no one reacted. And then everyone did. Screaming. Crying. Young men pounding their fists on their desks.

As we all exited the classroom, your future dad was right behind me.

“I’m going to walk home!” I exclaimed to no one in particular. “I can’t face sitting on the bus squashed between hordes of people!”

“I’ll walk with you,” the voice behind me said. “Where do you live?”

As it happened, we lived only four streets away from each other.

By the way, there are some girls who look fantastic even when they cry. If only I were one of those. Whatever eye makeup I was wearing was smudged and probably dripping onto my cheeks and chin. Plus, my nose was red and my skin blotchy. Hardly attractive!

No matter. Your future dad and I walked and talked for over an hour till we reached my house. And when we looked at each other, I know we saw into each other’s souls and we wanted to walk and talk together forever.

Our relationship grew stronger and closer during that next semester. By the summer, we were dating each other exclusively. We got married as soon as we graduated from college. And our relationship has flourished ever since. To this day, we remain the most loyal of soul-mates.

Out of tragedy, then, came an unexpected opportunity for love. In a sense, sad to say, it took a death to bring you all to life. We’ve never forgotten that, and we never will. And neither should any of you.

Love,

Mom

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