Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day No flowers or candy hearts for me today. I got a text from the guy in my life saying he was sorry, but he couldn’t send me anything. Things hadn’t been going well for him lately and he thinks he might be getting an ulcer and he loves me. And believe it or not that wasn’t a bad message. It was endearing and sweet because it was real.

Thing is we’re not valentine’s in the traditional sense, our lives have taken us separate ways. We have no claim on each other. We don’t talk everyday, but we do talk and text and read each other’s tweets or blogs and check in enough to make sure we know what’s going on. And, we see each other on certain holidays and on most special occasions, I get some pretty amazing presents from him and other times, like today, I get a message that in it’s own special way lets me know that I am loved.

My nephew Christian’s Mom posted a message on Facebook yesterday saddened by all the people upset by Valentine’s Day. She realizes that not everyone has a significant other to share the day with, but she noted that it is a celebration of love and encouraged people who might otherwise be alone to take out their son or daughter or have lunch with a friend. “Love is everywhere,” she wrote, “not just with your spouse.”

And, I agree. It’s not easy being single on Valentine’s Day or New Year’s Eve or those other special holidays that we romanticize and dream of sharing with someone special, but love is so much bigger than all of that. Sometimes it’s getting out of class after an evening of hearing students share their papers and realizing you love what you do. Sometimes its coming home to two curly-tailed monsters, who’ve chewed up your expensive eyeglasses – not one pair, but two – and curling up on the sofa with them anyway as they chew their sticky bones on your dress pants. Sometimes it’s calling a friend you haven’t talked to in ages, trading troubles woe for woe and thinking that even 20 years after college, it’s still pretty cool that you can pick up the conversation as if you just dropped by their dorm room after class.

And, sometimes love is about getting a text from a guy telling you about his crummy life, and you realizing it’s a valentine-of-sorts. His way of acknowledging, even if he is unaware that he is doing so, that you are important to him because, valentine or not, you are woven into the fabric of each other’s lives.

P.S. – If he is reading this, hope you don’t mind me sharing. Happy Valentine’s Day,  I love you!