Barbed Wire Heart

by Laine Maitland from Spruce Grove, AB

Valentines Day has always been a special day for me. On February 14, 1959 the love of my life proposed to me. We had enjoyed the day 'bonspeilling' on natural ice at his local curling club. We came back to his house and, with three of his best buddies recuperating from too much exercise and too many refreshments, Doug took me aside and unexpectedly 'popped the question'! Not the most romantic of circumstances, but all that was needed. I accepted, and on August 29 of that same year, I began my long and challenging career of becoming a farm wife. 

In the early years of our life together, Valentines Day was always worthy of a special dinner date. We always exchanged a gifts and flowers and we worked to keep the romance alive. I always looked forward to that February day. But as time marched on, other priorities took over - children, jobs and commitments. But I, being a romantic, was bound and determined to keep that day special. 

The Valentines Day in question was no different. Doug was working on his tractor in the warm shop most of the day, and I started to wonder if he even realized what day it was. 

As the day wore on' I grew extremely disappointed that he made not signs of heading to town to pick something up for a gift.  

I looked over at the huge box of Bridge Mix that I had gaily wrapped up along with the mushy card that I had selected for him. I thought about him devouring his favorite Candy, chuckling at the card – and me standing there empty handed! 

As I prepared the special dinner, unenthusiastically, he came inside and removed his chore clothes and boots. He just stood there. 

Almost pouting I handed him the colourful package and card. 

“I guess you forgot what day it is,” I said, glumly. 

Before I could turn away from him he handed me something that I will forever hold dear. 

It was a piece of barbed wire that he had shaped into a heart! He said no more-just
gave me a big kiss and turned and walked into the bathroom to wash up before dinner. 

It was a priceless gift at no cost whatsoever--only the loving thoughts of its maker.

He was a man of few words when it came to his feelings but that piece of barbed-wire spoke to me of many tender thoughts and memories.

Words aren’t always necessary, I had learned from him over the years. A simple
Piece of barbed-wire holds in its shape a lifetime of smoothness and sharp barbs. Of ups and of downs. 

That heart sits beside the portrait of my farmer. It has sat their for the past 48 years. I have removed it only once – to lay as a token of our love for each other, on his casket at his funeral. It signifies something very special about this man who I shall always remember as my better half – who talked a little different language of love.