Today I met my friend, Patti, for lunch at a Mexican restaurant.Â Back in October of 2005, I wrote about Patti when her boyfriend, Roger, died unexpectedly.
At lunch awhile ago, Patti and I chatted about various things.Â Then Patti told me about the last Valentine’s Day she’d had with Roger.Â That would have been Valentine’s Day of 2005.Â He had taken her to a florist shop where he let her select a flower bouquet.Â He wanted her to have exactly the flowers she preferred.Â She selected a dozen roses.Â Later, he gave her a tender card and signed it, “Your Tiger.”Â “Tiger” was Patti’s nickname for Roger.Â He was a masculine man with a strong jaw.Â As a matter of fact, he felt his jaw was so prominent that he wore a beard to soften the look.Â
It has been a year and a half now since Roger died, and this past Valentine’s Day Patti was feeling quite down.Â She couldn’t get thoughts of her last Valentine’s Day with Roger out of her mind.Â She remembered the roses her “Tiger” had given her, and she kept looking at the card that was signed, “I love you.Â Â Your Tiger.”Â
She wondered if people who’ve died are still aware of what’s going on with the ones they left behind.Â She wanted to know if Roger still thought of her like she still thought of him.Â She prayed to God to give her a sign – and a very definite sign – something so obvious she couldn’t miss it or dismiss it as a coincidence.Â Some sign – any sign – to let her know that Roger had not just stopped existing.
Of course she kept her prayer to herself.Â It was a prayer she had prayed often since Roger’s death.Â It is a very common prayer of people who are dealing with the death of a loved one.Â Death is such a mystery.
Valentine’s Day 2007 came and Patti was feeling especially blue.Â There would be no roses this year – and no tender card.Â That evening she went to a dance with other singles.Â She’s been a part of several dance groups for years.Â It was something she and Roger did together when he was alive.Â This particular dance group was new, though, and Patti was the new girl in the group.Â There was a door prize to be given out, and Patti filled out a ticket at the door as usual and promptly forgot about it.Â
The dance was mostly fun – a way to get out and be with other people.Â It didn’t get rid of the loneliness, but it made it more bearable for awhile – especially since it was Valentine’s Day.
During a lull in the dance, the emcee announced that it was time to award the door prize.Â When he drew the winning ticket from the bowl, Patti was surprised to hear her name called out.Â She went up to claim the prize – having no idea what it was.
The prizeÂ was a dozen roses.Â Â She had roses for Valentine’s Day after all.Â But that wasn’t all.Â There was more to the door prize.
There wasÂ also a stuffed tiger – not a sweet babyish looking tiger, but one dressed in a leather jacket – one with a strong jaw covered with fur.