Valentine’s Day 2013

(Robert can’t stop laughing after pulling my hat down)

 For Valentine’s Day this year (2013), I’m re-publishing the post I wrote in 2011, updating it slightly.

I always loved Valentine’s Day with Robert. We bought each other gifts, professed our love for each other emphatically and often poetically. We spent the afternoon making love, glorying in the magic of  the powerful passion we felt for each other. We would love each other for hours — a candle lighted even in the bright light of afternoon, the bedroom door closed though we were alone in the house. I can still feel the touch of his skin, the sweet pressure of his lips. I hear the love words he muttered.

Dancing was always a part of our self-expression and love expression. One of “our songs” was Anne Murray’s “Could I Have This Dance?”

Could I have this dance
for the rest of my life?
Would you be my partner
Every night?
When we’re together,
It feels so right.
Could I have this dance
for the rest of my life?

Every Valentine’s Day and birthday — and sometimes New Year’s Eve, too! — he danced for me:  a special dance he had created just to please and entice me. He practiced for days in private, choosing the music,  the choreography, and the costume that he would shed slowly and sensuously as part of his dance.

2013: This is my fifth Valentine’s Day without Robert. It wasn’t until the third one that I was able to remember his special dances without crying. What beautiful gifts he gave me throughout our seven years together.  What beautiful gifts he gives me still, as I remember him.

For all of you who have a special loved one on this Valentine’s Day, glory in what you share. Never take for granted that “the rest of my life” means anything more than “this moment right now.”

For all of us who are unpartnered on this Valentine’s Day, let’s glory in the love we know how to give, and let’s give it to ourselves and the people in our lives today. Let’s do something special that nurtures us and delights us. Let’s make someone else feel special. Let’s celebrate our capacity to feel joy. The more love we give, the more we have within us.

On this 2013 update, a good friend is just home from the hospital after suffering a heart attack. “I died three times,” he told me — that’s how often they had to re-start his heart. We need to make a special point always of letting the people we love know that we love them. We never know how much time we have.

Whether or not you have a lover right now, you do have people in your life who make your life better just by being in it. On Valentine’s Day or any day, tell them how you feel.


  1. Anonymous on February 26, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    your story made me cry! my husband and I have been together for 33 years and we grow stronger every year! thank you for sharing this with us! dobi

  2. David M. Pittle on February 23, 2013 at 3:01 am

    A little late for Valentine's Day, but really good for any time. "Read your Bible". No I'm not delirious. Pick up a copy of Song of Songs translated by Marcia Falk. Probably one of the most romantic and sexy things you could read to each other while lying in bed and cuddling.

    I know. You never heard of a sexy part of the bible. That's because priests and ministers get too freaked out and try to interpret it as allegory. But it is explicit and romantic erotica.

    Don't wait for next V-Day. Buy a copy of Falk's translation. Even if you aren't Christian or Jewish, you'll love it. It should go on your bookshelf right next to Joan's books–including "Ageless Erotica," her latest.

  3. Dan, Santa Cruz Mountains on February 15, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Yes, I just celebrated my 6th V Day w/ my new lover and wife; picnic on an ocean bluff at sundown. But I also did a meditation for my men's team the night before; and 3 of 9 men there were single guys. For inspiration I read from the Eros of Repentance which I reviewed here on V Day; a book written by a single man, a monk-on the topic of sexual love.

    My word to my single guy friends, as I remembered many single years without a Valentine (sadly, some were while married), was that we each set aside time to love our own souls, our own selves on V Day. Vow to make love to your own soul as Beloved every V Day. Maybe your body, too. All the love we have to give starts, must start with our own hearts and souls and bodies I think. This single monk cited above, writing from the Holy Mountain understood this.

  4. Sienna Jae Fein on February 11, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    You have inspired so many of us with your beautifully framed memories of the love you shared with Robert. Although your relationship was way too brief, you crammed more into seven years than many couples could in 7 decades. May you be visited on Valentine's Day by beautiful, vivid memories of how passionately you were loved, and by gratitude for the special joy of your relationship.

  5. Toni on February 11, 2013 at 1:43 am

    Joan, I remember sharing your joy when you first found love with Robert, and later, your grief when he was painfully slipping away. Your beautiful way of cherishing memories of those years together will keep his memory alive forever.
    As I joyfully approach my 48th anniversary with the man who is still the cherished love of my life, I hope all who read your blog will work to maintain the love connections they have, and not let temporary upsets come between them. "Grow old with me…" because the best really IS yet to be, tomorrow and every day you share together.

  6. Paul Barbour on March 3, 2011 at 3:28 am

    This is a special message for Pattie. I am so happy for you that you met this wonderful man and I hope and long to be that same kind of younger man to a very special older 60+ woman I hope to meet whom I can know, understand, and love with every fiber of my being the way he loves you.

  7. Paul Barbour, age 50 on March 2, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    I can't say enough how much I love you and your cause you are working for Joan. I am visiting your blog everyday. I am sorry you do not have Robert any longer. I am sure he was a wonderful man and I believe in many ways an example of how I want to be for a woman like yourself. I love how you say and you are so right on about the importance of remembering those special days like Valentines day and yes I do like that song "Can I have this dance for the rest of my life". Joan you sound like you are also an incurable romantic as well as a wonderful senior sex and fitness advocate.

    Also you are so right on when you say that hours of sex play which I think of as long foreplay is so very important. That is all about building anticipation to the exciting climax in which sex is the best and most blissful.

    I love and cherish and am drawn to women 60 and over. It's a societal myth that seniors are sexless and only interested in things like knitting, bingo, and ship cruises. Women in their 60's and older are THE BEST when it comes to understanding and performing sex which only gets BETTER with age.

    You all have something on your side when it comes to sex — pearls of wisdom which come from raising a family and/or living an entire lifetime and traveling this journey we all call life all these decades.

    I do hope to have this dance for the rest of my life with a 60 plus woman like yourself soon. I want to find, learn about, coddle and nurture her.

  8. Anonymous on February 14, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    4 years ago (plus a month or two) I met the love of my life. If anyone had ever suggested to me that I would be where I am today, I would have laughed (or cried, depending on the day!) at the thought, at the possibility. My life began 4 years ago. Oh, I won't say there were never moments of joy in my life, but they were just that, small moments amoung years of tears. My love is a man 22 years my junior, and he is the most loving, kind, generous, thoughtful man, wanting to nurture, wanting to know "me", wanting to understand what makes me happy. Today, I am the happier than I ever could have imagined. He shows and tells me in his every action how much he cares for me. I am truly blessed. Thank you God, thank my lucky stars, thank kismet, thank everyone and every event in my life that brought me here ~ yes, even the bad times, for if it were not for all of that, I don't know that I would have met OR recognized the beauty of this man I tell daily how wonderful he is, how much he means to me, and how much I love him. Thank you Joan, for giving me paper to tell my love story, my story of love and passion. You have been all along a part of my journey. Pattie

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