A Valentine found on a tool bench helps heal a broken heart - Catholic Courier
The front and inside of a Valentine’s Day card.

(Photos courtesy Leonor Rivera)

A Valentine found on a tool bench helps heal a broken heart

I called my late husband, Ed, Mr. Fix It. He had tools in the garage and basement. He enjoyed trips to Home Depot. When I came home from work and told Ed about a problem, he assumed that I wanted him to fix it. When he offered solutions, I would get upset and walk away. He looked confused. This happened often.

Eight months after we were married, my mother died. I pulled away from Ed. For months after, he kept trying to fix me by suggesting things. This upset me. I gave him the silent treatment.

In desperation, I remembered the lead couple on our Engaged Encounter weekend. They were so in love after 30 years of marriage. We asked them what their secret was. They said, “When you have been married awhile, attend a Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend.” I asked Ed if 1 1/2 years was awhile. He said yes, so we signed up.

On the weekend, Ed found out that I didn’t want him to fix my problems. I just wanted him to listen, reassure me and hold me. Ed was so relieved that he did not have to fix my problems for the rest of our married life. After the weekend, our marriage improved so much. We were so happy until he passed away.

While our son and I were cleaning out Ed’s basement workshop bench, we found a Hallmark bag. I asked my son if he knew what it was. He said it was a Valentine that Ed bought for me. Ed told him he found a better one and decided to hide this one for the following year. I opened the bag and read the Valentine. My Mr. Fix It found a way to help me continue to heal my broken heart.


Leonor “Leo” and Ed Rivera were members of the local Worldwide Marriage Encounter community for 32 of their 34 years of marriage until Ed unexpectedly died of a genetic heart defect on Aug. 1, 2020.

The 2023 Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekends are April 14-16, Sept. 15-17 and Nov. 10-12. All weekends take place at Notre Dame Retreat House in Canandaigua.

To read more of Leo and Ed’s blogs, visit https://catholiccourier.com/viewpoints/blogs/to-have-and-to-hold.

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