Valentine’s Day is this week. When I was a child I loved the holiday. I enjoyed writing the names of all the kids in the class on the cheap store bought cards. I would lay quietly on the floor going through the box of cards one-by-one selecting a card to apply to each of my classmates. I would carefully fold back and forth on the perforated line to slowly tear along those dots sheet-by-sheet and card-by-card. Then with a steady hand I would write the name of each classmate on a card. For the final touch, I would tape a sucker to each envelop. To an adult this would look as a waste of money and time, but to younger me it was an act of love with a hope of reciprocating some much-needed kindness or love back.
That box of cheap store bought Valentine’s Day cards and that bag of suckers was purchased by my younger self with an allowance to which was given by my grandfather. It might have gone unnoticed by many in the classroom, but there were always some classmates that rode the bus with me to school and knew my house was the dilapidated one on a hill with the broken front porch steps and paint peeling on the exterior walls. Those classmates knew, I gave all I had as an elementary student living on a farm in the countryside. Those classmates were my friends and they did just as I wanted. They gave me the gift of friendship, love and kindness in a very small farm town school.
Through the years, college life, marriage and parenting I have not given up on Valentine’s Day. Nope, this holiday is still very important to me. I would like to rephrase that, I would say Valentine’s Day is less important than Christmas and more than Thanksgiving to me. Why? Well, as a lonely child I was given an awful gift of the ability to see sadness in other’s eyes. It hurts me to look in a stranger’s, relatives’ or friend’s eyes to not see or find that special glimmer of love. That is when the inner child of me comes to light. My inner child does something special for a friend, family member, coworker, stranger or even myself (at times) during this holiday of love to bring love and possible spark to that person.
Why? Well, let me tell you a very tender story of a woman I knew quite well. She was depressed. She was abusive and neglectful to herself and her own children. This woman had loved a man deeply for 17 years. After her divorce, she gave up on herself. She quit her goals. She lost her faith. She stopped loving herself and loving others. Many knew this woman, but she felt alone and had lost her glimmer. On a cold Friday night, after Valentine’s Day this woman took her life by suicide. She wrote a long thoughtful note. But the key word that broke my heart was that she felt life got “boring.”
It is true that this woman had broken up with her lover a few months before she took her own life. Maybe she lost her glimmer in her eyes, yet I am not blaming him. I am just saying that if maybe, just maybe if more people were less selfish and gave as I did as a child maybe this woman would still be here today. I am not asking for huge gifts, but this holiday try to find a few dollars to buy a bag of candy, a dozen of cookies, or snack to share with those you do and don’t know so well. If you want to go big, give the gift of time. Invite someone to a cup of coffee or just sit and talk with them. This Valentine’s Day give the gift of love. You never know, it might reward you with a gift of friendship, love or kindness too.
Whatever you do this holiday, do not ignore those whom have lost that glimmer or spark in their eyes. It might even be the one whom you married, love, loved, work with, exercise with or see just passing by. Let’s celebrate this holiday of love with one simple act of love.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
I love you!