I’m a little weary of the Valentines Day haters – those who whine and complain, say it is a holiday made up by card companies, that kind of thing. ( It is remarkable to me that the same people who hate on this holiday will go to the time, extent, trouble and yes – spend money – sending anti-Valentines Day sentiments. Whassup with that?)
Yesterday at work, a man took a Valentine card off the rack and said to his wife, “Here, this is a Valentine for you. Now I’m going to put it back on the rack!” He was serious. I shook my head and thought, “oh boy, aren’t you a treasure….” Of course it isn’t about if or how much you spend, or mandatory card & gift giving. You celebrate it because you want to, not because you have to. And before I hear one more time – “Oh, I show my love every day, I don’t need a holiday to force me, ” I say well, stupid, you are SUPPOSED to show it every day. Some days that is more of a challenge than other days, as anyone who has been in a relationship of any kind lasting longer than 15 minutes can tell you.
My Grandma Emma died on Valentines Day many years ago, and it was perfect. Let me explain – she was a very simple woman, who conceived and bore her children in the same bed, on a farm in Nebraska. I remember asking her what it was like to give birth at home and she said, “Well, I just did my best, that was all we could do back then.” She adored her husband, my Grandpa John, and she loved her Lord. Grandma’s mother died on a holiday – Easter – and she thought that was the most wonderful thing, that you could go to meet your Lord on Easter. That’s when she told me she wanted to die on a holiday. My Grandpa John died years before she did, and she mourned and missed him profoundly. When she did pass, I thought it would ruin Valentines Day forever, until I remembered her wish to die on a holiday. What better day to be reunited with the great loves of her life – her husband and her Lord – than on Valentines Day?
Valentines Day is about love. Period. All kinds of love – family, friends, pets, lovers, caregivers – all should be celebrated and acknowledged in whatever manner you like. This acknowledgment of others will enrich your soul, and remind you to give yourself a “Valentine” of some sorts as well. Here is my favorite Valentine, one my mother did up in calligraphy and I have it hanging in (yes) my bathroom. I see it every morning and it reminds me every day to love myself in order to love others better.
Thomas à Kempis said, “Keep thyself in peace, and then thou wilt be able to bring others to peace. Have a zeal, therefore, in the first place over thyself.”