When I looked at the sign-up sheet, all the blog post dates for February had been taken except February 14. Oh great, I thought, now I’m stuck. I’m going to have to write about love. At least that would be the predictable subject for today,wouldn’t it?
Well, I do have some sweet Valentine memories …
- I first came to know February 14th as my father’s birthday, a day always celebrated with cherry pie.
- There were the decorated shoe boxes in elementary school that served as Valentine mailboxes. That and the candy conversation hearts.
- I won a nicely decorated Valentine’s Day cake in college (okay, I’ll admit it, the editor in me was bothered that the icing apostrophe was in the wrong place, but the cake was tasty).
- My first Valentine’s Day as a married woman was quite memorable. It included jewelry, flowers, chocolates, a teddy bear and dinner out. One of my older colleagues chided me, telling me I should enjoy it while I could, since it likely wouldn’t be repeated. (And it hasn’t been repeated, by the way, in the last 23 years of married life.)
According to Wikipedia, Valentine’s Day is the second most celebrated holiday, after New Year’s Day. Not much is known about Saint Valentine himself, but that doesn’t slow down the celebrations. Last year Americans spent over $17 billion dollars on Valentine’s Day. Who says money can’t buy love?
As nice as they are, chocolates, cards and flowers are ephemeral. (Note to my husband: I’d still like one of each, please.) What we all really need is the love of a good friend, spouse or partner. The kind of love that calls to make sure everything is okay when problems exist. The kind of love that drops off chicken soup when you’re sick. The kind of love that offers a back rub after a long day. The kind of love that laughs … and cries … with you. That’s the kind of sweet Valentine memory I wish for us all today.
Linda Post Bushkofsky, a hopeless romantic, is executive director.