Valentine's Day is great when you are in a stable, loving relationship. Well, even just some kind of relationship where the partner is clued in enough to be aware they are supposed to DO something on that date. Or if you happen to be pretty, popular or at least cool or worthy enough to receive cards, gifts, chocolates... flowers. Receive them on the day just for breathing and being alive. Because, heh, you're cool... and popular people get things. Hollywood will verify this.
"Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs.
Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes.
Being vexed, a sea nourished with lovers' tears.
What is it else? A madness most discreet,
A choking gall and a preserving sweet."
~ William Shakespeare ~
"Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies." ~ Aristotle ~
Well, I hate Valentine's Day. Because I have never BEEN cool, popular or attractive, especially while in Grade School. I was shy, meek and very mousey, terrified of others my own age, bullied constantly, my only real friends being books and the teachers who allowed me to stay in during recess, with the pretence of allowing me to help file or do bulletin boards. Children can be so very cruel and being newly arrived from the Deep South, my Californian peers rolled with laughter whenever I opened my mouth to speak. So, I tended not to try speaking out loud but communicated through comic strips and art projects instead of oral reports. My teachers at the time understood and allowed this. For that I'll be forever grateful.
High school Valentines were given between my girlfriends and myself, I can't ever remember receiving an actual Valentine from an actual boy. A boy who was two years older than I, sent me a soppy love letter once. I remember it made me feel rather embarrassed since it spoke of things and feelings and wants and needs that I hadn't yet a clue about. I did not share his feelings. He lost interest the next week.
I went on a first date on Valentine's Day, quite by accident, with the man who became my first husband. I had finished work and went to a local restaurant to meet my housemate for a drink. She showed up and then he did as well a bit later. How awkward. He just sat there blathering away and wouldn't leave. I went to the loo and came back to find she had bailed on me and gone home, so, there I was stuck with him. I was too polite, I should have just bailed myself. I remember him proposing the following year on the same day with the aside that this was probably the best offer I'd ever get, so, marrying him was really rather an honour for me.
I can laugh now, but at the time, my self-esteem was nil... and I accepted. We were married Valentine's Day 1987. And he left in 1993, taking our son with him. Well, physically he left in 1993, mentally he'd left me years before.
Husband Mach 2? Let's just say he even forgot my 40th birthday... and I was NINE months pregnant with our first child at the time... so, no, Valentine's Day was never what you'd call significant. Unless I reminded him. And what fun is that?
Now this isn't supposed to be a pity party, ok? It might seem like it's headed that way but it's not. I'm just underlining how rotten the date 14th February actually IS for me.
It rather sucks, up to now.
The wonderful thing about being an adult human, is that you can decide that you'll do something different. I'm not bound to hibernation or migration and if I decide that I am going to change, well I can! I don't NEED to wait for evolution to wind it's way around. I can just think, "Right, this is how I will now do this." Then do it. Simple.
"It's not what you have in your life, but who you have in your life that counts."
"The important thing, is to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are... for what we could become." ~ French critic Charles Du Bos ~
So, I decided that's how I'll look at Valentine's day from now on.
Today is a non-sectarian day to tell people whom you care about that you are happy they are in your life. I mean, you can do that at Christmas, but there's the whole religion thing that wraps around it which people can get stuffy or silly about. So today can be a day that is for everyone regardless of religious flavour. Or even non-flavour.
"Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination, full of hope." ~ Maya Angelou ~
I want to tell those who mean so much to me that I appreciate them. I want to say that you have made a difference in my life. That I am where I am today because of your love and support. And I know that I would not be in this safe and happy place had you not been there to help me through so much. Thank you, you mean the world to me.
"Love is strong yet delicate. It can be broken. To truly love is to understand this. To be in love is to respect this." ~ Stephen Packer ~
To the person I adore and cherish, who took me from a most horrid fate ahead of me and restored me to the whole person I had lost along the way, thank you. I will always and forever love you. I will always and forever be grateful for your love, care and attention. For everything you did for me and for us. I can never repay your kindness, but I hope, one future date, you will allow me to try. I hope you know that you will always and forever own my heart. The small sure flame will eternally and unremittingly burn; secret, guarded, certain. Please know that and remember. You will always and forever be The One.
Hug them, kiss them and tell them that you love them. Don't miss the chances that life is giving you to spend with people you love. There are no rewinds.
I know time and space and circumstances now separate us. I know that you have someone else now and that this outpouring of love I have for you will never be read, still, I needed to put it out there, to write it down and make it real, at least for me. If I could whisper in your ear, I would ask you to come back to me. I would ask you to give us another chance, but I know it's too late. That regret will ever lay heavy upon my heart.
A quiet thought, a silent tear, a constant wish that you were here. Words are few but thoughts are deep, memories of you, I'll always keep.
"A successful relationship requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. Always with the same person, but deeper and deeper every time. Each time on a whole new level you together open in love and discover the truth of your beloved anew. There is no limit to the beauty of your beloved. If you think you've reached the end, stop generalising."
Some morning, when I've met you in that sacred in-between place where we still laugh and smile at each other, that dreamworld of mine you inhabit, where there is sunshine glinting off the water, where there is peace and quiet, birdsong from the shore and long loving glances between us. I will look into those beautiful blue eyes again, face-to-face, the eyes I could swim in forever, happy, safe and secure. And you will smile, and my heart again will thrill. And that some morning, please, before you lean over to kiss her awake, the one you love now, think of me just the once. Think of me in the long pink dress, forever now hidden away from view and remember me with my hair falling down around. Remember the love we shared, the life we planned, our future together. Make peace with that and with me, please. Then, think of me just the once... and smile.
Because I will forever be thinking of you.