There are a few folks who don’t like Valentine’s Day. They often remark, “It’s just a day for Hallmark to make a boatload of money!” or “Why would you spend good money on expensive flowers? They don’t last like a good vacuum!” Those negative statements and thoughts seem to be an excellent excuse not to take the time to warm a heart.
When I was single for more years than I can now count, Valentine’s in the early days of singledom was marked by a bit of sadness. Loneliness would often tap me on the shoulder and remind me I would not be getting a rose or a card from Robert Redford. Then it dawned on me Valentine’s was about my love for others and an opportunity to make their February day a little warmer.
I would give Valentine gifts and cards to my children along with my mom and others whom I adored, and enjoyed doing so. To take a moment to remind someone they are valued enough to write a note or buy a flower or a candy bar is exceptional any time. However, on Valentine’s, isn’t making someone’s day rosier worth the price of a Hallmark card or two flowers or a whole box of candy? Feb. 14 should remind us all that love is important enough to be celebrated.
One day I needed to go through Mama’s box to find required information. The box is a plastic storage container filled with documents and papers I felt I should keep after she passed away nine years ago. Inside the bin is her yearbook from college, a ledger with information about finances, her old wallet and a treasure trove of memories.
I found a letter written to my mother from my father when he was working out of town a few months after their first son was born. It was a sweet, heart-wrenching letter of apology to her for his behavior during a stressful time. It meant so much to her, she kept it for 70 years.
A Valentine was pressed neatly among other papers tied with a ribbon. I made the card when I was eight years old out of yellow construction paper with a pink heart pasted on the front. On the inside of the card was written in red crayon, “To Mama, I love you, Lynn.” Mama kept the Valentine for the rest of her life.
Bobby is a great guy who married a spirited girl named Shirley 40 years ago. Bobby has always done sweet, unexpected things to remind Shirley how much he cares for her.
On a Thursday morning a few years ago, her doorbell rang. When she opened the door, a delivery man was standing in front of Shirley holding a big stuffed bear which carried three yellow roses. When she looked closely at the bear’s ears, she gasped when she saw a diamond stud in each one.
Baffled because it was not a special occasion, she quickly took the note, which read, “This is for you just because it is Thursday. Love, Bobby.”
I am sure Shirley has enjoyed wearing those beautiful earrings, but she will carry the memory of her husband going the extra thoughtful mile to create such an unexpected endearing moment forever.
There is not a human being on the face of this earth that doesn’t want to be loved. Not one. There is not a soul who doesn’t want to be told they are loved. Not one. Whether it is a child, a parent, a husband, wife, friend or anyone in our circle of relationships, Valentine’s is a good day to remind them they are an extraordinary part of our world.
Now, most of us can’t afford diamonds, but most all of us can make a card out of construction paper or buy a bear at the Dollar Store and put a daisy in his hand. Most of us can buy a golf ball or stick a note on the remote which reads, “I love you.” Each of us can take a moment to touch a heart.
If you are alone on Feb. 14, savor Valentine’s. Make heart-shaped cookies to take to your office or go to a children’s hospital and deliver Valentine’s to kids. Give love and enjoy the heck out of it.
This Valentine’s, why not send extra love to another? It won’t hurt a bit. Even if you don’t like the holiday, it really isn’t about you, is it? Someone might find your sweet note, rose petals or a stuffed bear in a storage box one day because the gesture of love you took the time to create was so exceptional, they tied a ribbon around it and kept it forever.
Lynn Walker Gendusa is a columnist from Roswell and the author of “it’s all WRITE with me!” If you would like to WRITE Gendusa, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.