Parents Talk: A Love Letter to Paula Nagel

Happy Valentine's Day to parents everywhere.

Dear Paula,

Remember our first date? You sent me a Valentine, and we dined at . We stopped at a crowded party afterward, and I reached back, not wanting to lose you. Your hand fell into mine, as if it were meant to be.

We went to the movies. We did that a lot in those days, remember? We lingered over kisses, spent weekends doing whatever pleased us, letting time stretch like the perspective of a dream.

On our wedding day, on Valentine's Day, on the island of Maui, remember how you laughed and cried? Our Hawaiian minister—his shirt stained to technicolor with the food of nine receptions—performed the wedding ceremony in two languages.

We are parents now, and have been for more than 17 years. We are blessed with two amazing daughters, and I am happier than any man deserves.

But in the race to get from here to there, I too often take our love for granted. In the shuttling of kids and walking of dogs and patching of websites, I grumble and gripe and fail to do the things I should.

And a few minutes ago it occurred to me that, in all those 17 years, I have never written you a love letter.

Until now.

Happy Valentine's Day, Paula Nagel. Happy anniversary.

Aloha kekahi i kekahi.


  • Editor's note: If you're a parent and a romantic, please leave a love note for your spouse in the comments section below. 
Melissa Pazen February 08, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Paula is a lucky woman! And I hope you walk as well as you talk, Rick.
Deedee Slagle February 09, 2012 at 01:38 AM
Beautifully written and Happy Anniversary!
Sandy Kaczmarski February 10, 2012 at 01:12 AM
Rick! I forgot that you and Paula share the same anniversary as me and Ed. You get to pay three times the cost of roses than any other day, as my husband always says. Didn't know you were such a romantic softy! Lingering over kisses? Get a room you guys! How wonderfully sweet.
Jacquelyn Lobdell February 10, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Happy Anniversary!! What a wonderful letter to your wife!
Amy D. February 11, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Aw Rick! You made me tear up a little! So sweet :)


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