So, here we are. Stores are full of big red hearts filled with candy. Silk boxers patterned in Cupids or covered in â€œI love youâ€ show up next to bustiers and feather trimmed lingerie, displayed prominently in every department store. February 14 is here. Another Valentine’s Day. Time to commence the annual this is just a greeting card holiday/ I hate Valentine’s Day/ can we just skip right to St. Patrick’s Day and green beer, please! grumbling.
No. Not me. I’ve made my peace with Valentine’s Day – and not just for half-price chocolate on February 15.
Oh, it wasn’t easy. I’m 46 and single. Twice-divorced, actually. I’m not dating anyone particularly important and there’s no one out there I’m hoping will change that status. All of the above puts me in the prime â€œI hate Valentine’s Dayâ€ demographic.
Except that Valentine’s Day is about love, and I choose to celebrate love in all its forms.
I consider myself very fortunate when it comes to love. For one, I have a few really great friends who are as important to me as anyone with whom I share blood. There are families we’re born into and families we choose, and I am very lucky that the family I choose manages to put up with me, my sometimes difficult attitude, and my habit of hibernating in solitude for long stretches of time. My BFFs are the family I choose and I love them.
Two more reasons I celebrate Valentine’s Day are a little boy and a little girl who, even though they’re all grown up now, will always be my babies. Having them in my life made me a better person. There were times when they were the reason I got up in the morning, why I didn’t give up or give in, why I put one foot in front of the other and just kept moving. When they were little, the Valentine’s Baby always brought them a box of chocolates and even to this day, that’s a tradition I still keep. If I forget, my daughter reminds me – â€œWhere’s my chocolate, Mom?â€ My children taught me what it means to love completely.
Valentine’s Day is about love, and love is a 3-year old little boy who thinks playing hide-n-seek means crawling under the covers of my bed and giggling â€œHere I am, Nona!â€ when I start hunting for him, and love is a baby girl who’s all big blue eyes and wide, happy smile and the reminder that life goes on, one child at a time.
I celebrate Valentine’s Day because I’m grateful that love has been a part of my life. I fell in love with my first husband with all the passionate fervor of my youth and because I did, I have two beautiful children who have given me two beautiful grandchildren.
And I was lucky enough to fall in love again with a man who walked out of every dream I’d ever had and was everything I ever wanted and who, to be honest, I still love. My life is better because I had that experience, because I know what it feels like to love someone that much, to have feelings go that deep. Hurts like hell sometimes, too, but I like to think that even if I’d known in advance that this would be the price I’d pay, I would have risked it.
I celebrate Valentine’s Day because my mom is still with us, because I have brothers and a sister and aunts and uncles and cousins who share my memories and remind me of my roots.
I celebrate Valentine’s Day because it’s about more than lingerie and jewelry commercials and chocolate and overpriced flowers.
I celebrate Valentine’s Day because I’m surrounded by love and love is good.
So here’s your challenge – find your own reason to celebrate Valentine’s Day, one that is about you and your own life and not Hallmark or Godiva or 1-800-Flowers.
Happy Valentine’s Day!