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February 12

But It’s Still Hard to Give Her Away, ‘I Loved Her First’

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While most love songs tell the story of the romance between man and woman, there’s one song I’ve loved since.

I am a firm believer that Valentine’s Day is not just mainly giving cards, chocolates or flowers to your significant other. Most commonly, it is associated with romantic love, with millions of Valentine’s Day cards being exchanged each year. Gifts of flowers or a single red rose are sent with romantic messages and some would even spend their special time together. Another popular Valentine’s Day activity is indulging in a luxury hotel stay in a beautiful location, allowing a couple to get away from it all and enjoy some quality time together. Marriage proposals are also popular, and it is often chosen as the perfect day to express their love and commitment. Some marriage proposals are creative such as climbing to the top of a mountain or posting the question on a billboard. Whatever the method, marriage proposals made on Valentine’s Day are generally impressive.

Why don’t we have a break from all the man-woman love songs today? Let’s share a similar feeling and make a twist on spending the day with the ones we truly love.

Who Could Have Loved Her First?

But It's Still Hard to Give Her Away, 'I Loved Her First' 1

Who is happy to see someone so deeply in love, but is sorry to lose the “freckle-faced kid” he remembers?

“And she still means the world to me
Just so you know
So be careful when you hold my girl
Time changes everything, life must go on
And I’m not gonna stand in your way.”

Hearing this stanza makes you think it’s another party wishing another couple well. Until you come to this part and in awe, you will realize, it’s a father talking to his daughter’s man.

“From the first breath she breathed
When she first smiled at me
I knew the love of a father runs deep
Someday you might know what I’m going through
When a miracle smiles up at you
Yeah, I loved her first.”

To Our First Valentine

I grew up never dreaming to experience the romantic dates and sweet nothings because my first love has been with me since the day I was born. From the first steps I took to the first fall I had, he was there to help me through it. He has seen my first chuckle and has wiped my tears. He has fed me with not just food and chocolates but has given me unconditional love. We never had to go out to have fancy dinners and exchange cards on Valentine’s Day. We always sang songs together. Him on his guitar and me on the vocals. I always wished he had the chance to see me walk down the aisle someday and sing to my would-be-husband. But I know, every day, he sees me from above, perfectly singing this tune. After all, his love was exceptional. He is and forever will be, my valentine.

In my attempt to remember my father, I have looked through a lot of videos and came across this one. At their wedding reception, a dad surprises her daughter and her husband by learning the sign language version of “I loved Her First” by Heartland. She moved to tears knowing it took his dad the entire year she was engaged to learn how to sign the song. The daughter, Nicole Cortez, is a sign language interpreter so this meant the world to her.

Tell your Dad, he’s your valentine, because since you were born, you are his, too.


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