By: Marianna Boyce
“Who’s the Best in All the Land?”
Does Someone Hear a Marching Band?
For me, Valentine’s Day is like most other holidays. We shouldn’t wait for a specific date on the calendar to be thankful, patriotic, giving, or loving. We would all better benefit to celebrate these wonderful qualities on a daily basis.
Holiday or not, my husband Gerry has a knack for giving very unique gifts. The gift he gave me in 2004 is by far, the most unique gift ever! Stay with me a minute. There’s a backstory.
It was my son’s sophomore year in high school. Cody was also a marching band member. As band parents, we chaperoned most of their trips and events. It was no surprise when we were asked to help with their Disney trip that year. I would be responsible for twelve students and Gerry would have thirteen.
Days before our departure, I was busy packing for our trip. I didn’t even think about being in the Magic Kingdom for Valentine’s Day, but someone else certainly did.
Once we arrived at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort, we met our group for breakfast. It was February 14, and I was still oblivious to the fact it was Valentine’s Day. We distributed their breakfast vouchers and told them to meet us back at a popular place near the castle at noon. This was when we would give them their lunch vouchers and verify our that group was all still alive and accounted for.
The funny thing is, instead of venturing away from us, they all stuck with us like glue. You should’ve seen the expression on the ride attendant’s face when he asked how many, and our response was twenty-seven! He actually accommodated us so we could all ride together.
When we exited the ride, we saw two students from another group.
They ran toward me shouting, “Mrs. Boyce, Mrs. Boyce!” My heart was pounding because I thought someone was hurt.
When they got to me, a young lady handed me a small envelope and said “This is for you. Happy Valentine’s Day.” They both ran off giggling.
Our large group of clingy high school students knew exactly what it was. It was one of those small childish Valentine cards you would buy for your second grader. I flipped the card over and read the sweetest note on the back from my dear husband. I also read it aloud for the kids. They loved it as much as I did. Of course, I saved them and thought I’d share a few with you. If you zoom in, you can read one or two as well.
What I didn’t know at the time was that Gerry had purchased several boxes of these childish “Will you be my Valentine” cards. He wrote on each one, sealed them, and secretly handed them out to about 50 of the band members at breakfast that morning. He instructed them to hand deliver these personal handwritten cards from him, if and when they saw me throughout the day.
About every 15 minutes, I had a random band member running up with excitement they had found me. It was like a wild goose chase for them (I was the wild goose)!
I received cards that entire day and well into the evening. I felt like a Disney Princess!
Gerry’s goal involving the students in the fun was for an important teachable moment: material things are not needed to make someone feel special. For me, this gift is the best and most unique in our 31 years of marriage…and it only cost him about $8.00. The effect? Priceless!
Thoughtful gifts for no particular reason are great; however, this unique gift wouldn’t have worked well on say… April 8th. It had to be given on February 14… at Disney World… by 50 of our awesome 2004 band students. “Who’s the best in all the land? White Knoll High School Marching Band…” along with my very loving and thoughtful husband!
This year, my gift to Gerry is being able to share this true and very unique story with the world!
Happy Valentine’s Day Sweetie!
I Love You!