Saturday, February 14, 2015

Make It Count

I have celebrated so many years of this holiday in all the traditional ways: going out to dinner, receiving flowers, boxes of candy, and sometimes, some years, in no way at all. As I became older, I began to see that holiday as it was: an opportunity to make money based on how much each individual was hell-bent on showing their love for someone in monetary form.

Now granted some of those ways were very creative: expressions blasted above on jumbotron’s, skidding across basketball courts at half-time bearing rings and requests for forever love and commitment, romping through sunflower fields with video cameras in tow to catch that perfect moment/frame in time; all for the sake of having the best memory/story to tell years later when they’re sitting at a table in a restaurant, trying to recapture/remember how they got there.  

I’m just so over all the hype, pomp and circumstance that comes with this holiday every year. The heart-filled greeting cards/candy that are replacing Christmas cards/candy on every store shelf, December 26th of every year. The heart boxers hanging on the racks right next to the reindeer boxers, practically before your presents have been wrapped. And the commercials, oh my grand at the commercials! The ones that begin the minute the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve and don’t seem to stop until they have pounded into everyone out in TV land, that you MUST buy that heart-shaped, shimmering necklace for the love of your life or be in the doghouse forever!

Every kiss does not begin with the moniker of some jewelry store; it should begin with your three year old climbing-up in your bed, waking you too early on Saturday morning, with giggles and a smile that cannot be resisted. Or your husband after you’ve cooked a meal that he especially likes, or your eight year old son who is still young enough to show his love to his Mama in public. Or being greeted at the end of the day by your four-legged fur-family who’s been home alone all day and slobbers you with love as you walk in the door.

Last year I spent this particular holiday travelling back to my hometown so that I could
spend the day with a woman that at the time, I only knew by sight and exchange of words/encouragement. A woman with whom I went to school years ago, but we were separated by age and a grade level. She had found out less than sixty days prior that she had breast cancer and she had just undergone a double mastectomy. That day, that reunion of practically strangers but now forever friends, was one of the most rewarding ways I have ever spent this holiday.  The hugs exchanged were some of the most intense I have ever experienced; it was a representation of love in one of its truest forms – eternal friendship.

I challenge each of you to share something real, something tangible that will last forever – rediscover the real meaning of love and what Valentine’s Day means to you. 

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