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VALENTINE'S DAY

My friends have always hated Valentine's Day. They ridiculed the pimply-faced boys Whose hormone-infused offerings Smell of Axe cologne and sweaty palms. Greater the mocking of pubescent princesses Who prance and twirl and collect tokens From admirers like shells on a beach, oooing and aahing Over anything shiny or colorful. I have always been neutral. Red is not my color. Chocolate breaks me out. And I am allergic to roses. I was raised on Disney movies, however, and am not immune To the power a real love story inspires. So while I never actively sought to steal The heart of a young, handsome prince, I didn't hate the thought that some Valentine's Day I might be the recipient Of some amorous male attention. What I didn't know is that there was a deadline. Like Cinderella, I had a clock ticking But no fairy Godmother to turn back the hands. And the stakes were much higher than a glass shoe and a pumpkin. There's an old song my mother used to waltz around the kitchen singing: "Love in your heart wasn't put there to stay Love isn't love til you give it away." Catchy, romantic, but not very real! The trouble was, no matter how much love I had in my heart, I couldn't give it away. Nobody would want it. My heart was broken. Not like when a lover cheats on you, But literally, as in no returns, VERY-limited-lifetime-warranty broken. And as my twenty-fifth Valentine's Day approached, I was in a hospital, knowing that my happy ending wasn't to be. Despite the many attractive interns that surrounded me, Flirtily discussing my deteriorating cardiac status, the ball was over. Everyone had tried to find me a match, But it looked like the transplant gods Were even worse shots than that little demon Cupid. My date for Valentine's Day this year would be St. Peter. And I was ok with that. I had a good run. So when I closed my eyes the night of February 13th, I was ready for what came next. Or so I thought. But instead, like another favorite fairytale princess I admired, I woke up. The light got brighter, and sound was added. Beating -- a strong, steady rhythm, one I hadn't heard in a long time. This must be heaven, I thought, Wondering why it looked just like a hospital? "Happy Valentine's Day," gushed a young, fresh-faced nurse Whose scrubs were adorned with hearts And tiny Cupids, bows loaded for bear. "You almost missed it!" "Where am I?" I stammered? Although it was obvious I was hooked to as many or more machine as before And I felt an INTENSE pain in the area of my chest, I also noticed I was speaking easier, mostly because I was breathing easier. "Cardiac surgical intensive care." She went on to tell me that a young man died in a motorcycle crash the night before And his heart was a perfect match for me. He wanted to donate his organs, And all I was allowed to know was his first name, Emir. Long story short, after an extended recovery, My health is the best it has ever been! I play tennis, actually go to the gym I belong to, And no longer introduce myself as: "The girl with the limited lifetime warranty." Before I knew it, Valentine's Day was upon us again. I had no boyfriend, but I felt happier than ever! Still, I felt my recovery wouldn't be complete Unless I could somehow find a way to wrap up the story of my special Valentine's gift. Rules are strict, and I couldn't find any more information On the young man unless his family chose to reveal it. And apparently, they didn't. So I had to be satisfied With just looking up the meaning of "Emir," and finally I understood. On that special Valentine's Day, not only did I wake up like a fairytale princess, But a young man truly gave me the greatest gift of love imaginable: his heart. Not metaphorically, but literally, giving with no hope of receiving back. An unmatched gift of love from a man I never even met. And the meaning of my rescuer's name? Well, that's what makes my story worth telling! Because my research found that "Emir" means "Charming Prince." And that is how I knew I would live happily ever after.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2016




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Date: 2/27/2016 1:10:00 AM
weird reply, but thank you for the reply to my comment. LINDA
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Date: 2/25/2016 10:35:00 PM
Congratulations on your win!
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Date: 2/25/2016 7:08:00 AM
Hi Cindi. Congrats for your beautiful, winning poem in the "Pain is Love" contest!!!! ;-)
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Date: 2/24/2016 4:05:00 AM
What a tremendous write Cindi.. awesome.. congrats on first place win.
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Date: 2/23/2016 5:42:00 PM
What a lovely story. One not so many of us could tell. Whether it is true or not , you told it well. Love, Joyce
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Cindi Rockwell
Date: 2/23/2016 6:58:00 PM
Not a true story but our lives were recently touched by a transplant recipient. In fact, he & my daughter were engaged. Unfortunately, his body rejected his new lungs after a year and he passed away in August. But it was the best year in both of their young lives.
Date: 2/23/2016 5:24:00 PM
Cindi, Congratulations on your win. A heartfelt poem... LINDA
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Cindi Rockwell
Date: 2/23/2016 6:56:00 PM
Thank you. Please be an organ donor!
Date: 2/23/2016 11:07:00 AM
Thank you for entering my contest it was an honor reading:)
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Cindi Rockwell
Date: 2/23/2016 6:55:00 PM
Thank you for the contest. My daughter's fiancé passed in August and he was a transplant recipient. His one year of good health is the year they met and fell in love. Unfortunately, he rejected the lungs after a year and they never got to marry but I am eternally grateful to whoever donated those lungs for him.
Date: 2/2/2016 5:40:00 PM
This story touched me. You never know the turns that life will take, gifts given, nor received. The recipient of a heart, especially one such as this is truly blessed. So genuinely and gloriously expressed.
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Dineen Williams Gault
Date: 2/24/2016 11:11:00 AM
Congratulations!
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Cindi Rockwell
Date: 2/23/2016 6:52:00 PM
Thank you. I hope everyone is an organ giver and realizes the importance of it.
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Cindi Rockwell
Date: 2/23/2016 6:51:00 PM
Thank you. My daughter's fiancé received a transplant that gave him time to meet and fall in love with my baby. Unfortunately, he passed before they could marry.
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Dineen Williams Gault
Date: 2/2/2016 5:52:00 PM
I thank you for sharing that with me Cindi, that's beautiful!
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Cindi Rockwell
Date: 2/2/2016 5:49:00 PM
Thank you. My daughter's fiancé passed from CF in August. He had a double lung transplant that gave him 1 perfect year of health, during which time they met, fell in love, and got engaged. Unfortunately, his body tejected the lungs and he lost the war. But that year was the greatest gift he & she ever had!