Valentine’s Day; the one day in the year where it’s anticipated we express our love. 

But it can also be a painful reminder of love lost; a day of unmet expectations, of unrequited love…La Douleur Exquise! 

Love is everywhere; and with it comes a range of different meanings and feelings.…and it got me thinking.

So I wrote a Facebook post for Valentine’s Day and thought I’d edit it a little and share it with you.  

Ready?

Let’s go then…

This is Hannah's daddy.

 

(Photo courtesy of Bentley Photography – Bolton)

He doesn't believe there should be one day in the year where we're conditioned to express our love for people...and I tend to agree!

This man undoubtedly raised a few eyebrows when people heard he was going to be a daddy...but this man absolutely stepped up to the mark when his daughter arrived!

This man, with hands the size of shovels, learned and then delicately performed the nasogastric feeds for his baby. He sat by her cot with a torch, doing the 2am feeds so I could get some sleep.

This man changes his nine-year-old daughter’s nappy, soothes her when reflux strikes, brushes her hair, does the dishes, cooks, cleans, shops, works and so much more. (I do a bit too, just so you know 😉).

Since Hannah's birth, the last nine years have been incredibly challenging, but he's been a constant for her and for me.

He's been my wingman.

...and he's Hannah's best pal.

He's wiped our tears away.  He's seen me at my best...and most definitely at my worst.

He's been there when no-one else was.

He's cheered me on and, whilst he may not say it, I know he's incredibly proud of me, as he's immensely proud of his girl...and woe betide anyone who tries to harm her!

Love isn't about one day of cards or chocolates and bunches of flowers.

Love isn't about just saying "I love you".

Love is much more than that.

Love is doing the stuff for other people that they can't do. Love is advocating for and protecting. Love is telling you to put your coat on because it’s cold outside, or making you a cup of tea or putting up with someone (namely me) missing bits of a conversation because they're immersed in typing or reading something. Love is dancing in the kitchen with a tea towel on your head because it makes your girl laugh...and because she keeps signing "more". Love is going out for avocados for breakfast, because we've run out and Hannah likes them. Love is wearing 'the sorting hat' so that everyone stares at you instead of the kid.

Love is SO much more.

Love is thoughtful and love is kind. Not just for Valentine’s Day.

As parents to a child with profound additional needs, our life has changed significantly. We've had to adapt and compromise and yes, alongside the average, everyday pressures life can throw at you, it’s been challenging and incredibly stressful at times. But we're still here...winging it.

…and we hope our girl knows that she’s loved EVERY day!

 Read more of Annie's blogs and our Family Fund Bloggers.