Sunday, March 06, 2011

Reflections of Valentine's Day


This column was published right before Valentine's Day:

I watched a movie during the Great Snow Storm of ’11. It was called Valentine’s Day, and it got me thinking about that day, February 14, that some of us love while others of us hate - and, perhaps, many of us are just indifferent about.

Who was this St. Valentine, and why is his day so important to us? Legend tells us that Valentine was persecuted because he was a Christian and on the evening before he was executed he sent a note (a Valentine) to his beloved which he signed “from your Valentine”.

Who knows if that was true, but because of that legend February 14 has become a day for lovers, or haters, depending on your point-of-view.

Remember in elementary school when you decorated a Valentine box and took it to school so that your classmates could place notes of love to you inside it? You put your heart and soul, and that of your mother’s, into making that box with all its red, pink, and white ornaments, hearts, doves, cherubs, bows and arrows, and you hoped, you fervently wished, that that one special someone, that little boy in the third seat to your right, or that little girl in front of you who hated it when you dipped her pigtails in ink, would drop that special card, meant just for you, inside your Valentine box.

I think that is one reason some people really hate Valentine’s Day. That boy or that girl didn’t put a card in your Valentine box. Sometimes I didn’t get that Valentine I wanted, but, you know, I do now. I have the best Valentine I could ever wish for! I am blessed.

Sometimes I think we take too much for granted. We either give a gift and a card out of tradition or because it’s expected, or we agree not to do “that” this year. But after watching that movie, I do believe we, perhaps we Americans, we older adults at least, well, some of us anyway, seem to forget the romance and anticipation of a special day for lovers. Valentine’s Day.

Sure, it isn’t a holiday, and I’m not sure it should be a time when we lavish gifts on our children or grandchildren. I think it’s more of a time when we need to lavish our love on that special person in our lives without whom we would not be completely whole. Or, in some cases, remember that person who loved us with their whole heart while they were here on earth.

Valentine’s Day is a day for lovers, in the pure sense. Perhaps even more, or different, from an anniversary. Valentine’s Day is a chance to celebrate our love. Maybe with a candle-lit dinner at home while the kids are at the movies. Perhaps with a special meal at that special restaurant, just the two of us. Perchance a walk in the park, a drive around the county, a romantic movie, the sharing of a chocolate soda with vanilla ice cream, all by ourselves.

Think about it. We have been given the special gift of love. Let’s celebrate it, quietly or with fanfare, but just the two of us, this Valentine’s Day!

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