In the beginning of our marriage, Ed didn’t write much. He bought beautiful, thoughtful, heartfelt cards and signed them “With love, Ed.”
I told a friend that I wished Ed would write more. She suggested I compliment what he DID write without criticizing that he DIDN’T write enough. I took her advice. Little by little, Ed wrote more. Soon it was a sentence, then a few sentences and, over time, a paragraph.
When we were married about a year and a half, we attended a Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend. The presenters taught us ways to communicate better. One technique was called the hot pen method. Ed really liked it. It gave him the freedom to write whatever came to mind. After that weekend, he started writing more and more often. He shared not only from his head but from his heart.
Thirty-two years later, I have boxes and boxes of cards, notes and letters that Ed left. Knowing they are there is a great comfort to me, although I have not been able to read them yet. Ed’s death is still too fresh and painful.
There is one that he left behind that is extra special to me. I know it’s there, but I can’t always see it. On very cold winter days, like we have in upstate New York, I quickly get into my car and turn the heat on high. While waiting for the car to warm up, I breathe heavily and the windows fog up. On the very top of the front windshield on the driver’s side, Ed’s message starts to appear. He took his beautiful finger and carefully wrote I ❤️ U. My heart melts when I see it. I’m so very grateful that Ed found a way to leave me one last Valentine.
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 heart attack on Aug. 1, 2020. To learn more about Worldwide Marriage Encounter in-person and virtual enrichment weekends, visit www.wwme.org. To read more of Leo and Ed’s blogs, visit https://catholiccourier.com/viewpoints/blogs/to-have-and-to-hold.