Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentines Day

Valentines Day. Such a lovely holiday, let's all celebrate love.Yada Yada Yada. (can you see how I feel about it?) But Valentines day can be a minefield for those, like me, that have mixed experiences of the day.

Oh, I hated Valentines day as a child. The Fat Lady started out as the Fat Girl, you know. Back in the dark ages when I was in elementary school 'self-esteem' wasn't a part of the psycho-babble yet. So those of us who were outcasts for whatever reason hated Valentines day. Oh, it was all so innocent. For a few days before we would spend our art class time creating a receptacle for the valentines. There was red and pink construction paper and paper doily scraps everywhere, and the Elmer's glue residue stuck to your fingers. At least that was fun, peeling the Elmer's glue from your fingers.

Then the big day arrived, and we were allotted time to deposit our valentines in the boxes. A mimeographed list of names had gone home with us,and we were free to create to our hearts content. If you were lucky your Mom would let you buy a box of school valentines, 32 to a box back then plus the bonus teachers card. So, every one went around and put their little cards in the box. Then of course we had the treats our room mothers dutifully provided and everyone looked at their valentines. As you reached in your box and took out 2 or 3 cards, after all the teacher had to give you one, and maybe you had one friend, and then some dumb boy had to tell you why you were outcast, you did your best to make sure no one else saw. But it seemed like they all knew anyway. But, you knew that if you showed any emotions they would have power over you, so no tears. You bravely told everyone that you wanted to wait and look at them at home.

Fortunately all of those classroom Valentine parties were in elementary grades, and you didn't have to repeat that particular little piece of Hell again once you reached middle school. But, Valentines day was still an empty day, void of love, and rife with bad memories.

Decades pass, and one day a tall thin man crosses a street in a small town in Missouri. He teaches you, among other things, that yes, you are able to love and to be loved. He manages to surprise you every year with a lovely expression of love on Valentines day. You give him a small plush animal for his collection. A collection that he started when you gave him his first one. A silly little collection for a big tough Marine, but a collection that is cherished by him.

Then circumstances change again. The love of your life is taken away from you by a drunk driver, and you get thrown into the long, difficult act of grieving. Every special day, every holiday is another reminder that you are alone again. That no one will make you smile, and tell you you are loved and ask you to be their valentine. Valentines day is a difficult, difficult day for those who are on the outside looking in. Those who have never had a love, and there are many, those who have lost their love and are all alone again.Valentine's Day is hard.

The other holidays are difficult, but there are ways to get through. But Valentine's Day, that is hard. Everywhere you look, from the aisles of the grocery store, to the restaurant ads in the paper, the commercials on TV you are reminded that this is a time for love and a time for lovers, and you feel all alone. It seems as if the whole world is operating two by two, that no matter which way you turn you are surrounded by couples, and you no longer have the person that made you part of a couple. Valentines day is long and lonely.

If you know someone who is alone this year on Valentines day, please reach out to them. A note, a small card, a phone call. Let them know that they are not alone in this world. Let them know that another human being cares about them. See, we all need a human touch. We may be rooted in faith,and know that there is a Creator,and that that Creator loves us. We may know that there is in us a part of the Divine, and that there is no where we can go that the Divine is not with us. But, the love of Most High, as wonderful as it is doesn't have the human touch unless we provide it. We are made in the image of the Creator, we are told,and so we must be the arms and hands and voice of love. We must be the human touch. There is someone out there in need of your voice, or a hug, or just the touch of your hand on their sleeve. So, make sure that you do something special for your sweetheart. Do not ever let a day go by, and especially on the holiday that is about love, make sure the one you love, the one who loves you, knows that you never take one moment for granted. But, please, if you have an extra moment reach out to one of the lonely ones. They will appreciate you more than you can know.

Love Is Stronger Than Death

Love is stronger than death.
So I must be content to know that
love is not affected by death-- ...
it doesn't end, it doesn't diminish,
it doesn't change.
Instead, love is immortalized
and eternalized through death.
And the possibility of that love ever
being damaged or broken
is eliminated forever.
I'll put my trust in love.


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