We shouldn’t need a holiday to remind us to tell all the important people in our lives that we love them, but Valentine’s Day makes a good excuse. Though I know it is traditionally a romantic holiday — a day for couples — I’ve always seen Valentine’s Day as a more inclusive event. I have fond memories of those decorated shoe boxes filled with silly little greetings from classmates in school. My mother always made sure we had a special Valentine’s Day treat — candy or a stuffed toy or some other little memento. I still remember my first Valentine’s Day away from home, my first year of college. I went to the university post office to find a package from my mother — I can still clearly picture the cute pink top she sent me to mark the occasion. I didn’t have a boyfriend that year to give me flowers or candy, but my pink top from my mom made me feel loved and appreciated.
I’ve always tried to make a point to celebrate that day with my family, as well. We’ve never exchanged lavish gifts, but we’ve swapped small, personalized tokens (like that treasured pink knit top from my mom) and lots of love. My son took a shiny, heart-shaped balloon to his grandmother’s hospital room yesterday (she’ll be in physical therapy for another ten days or so for her broken leg), and she seemed as delighted by that gesture as she would have been by diamonds. She knows he loves his Mimi, and that is what she truly treasures.
So, whether you have a “significant other” in your life or not, celebrate all the people you love on this Valentine’s Day. As for myself, I send my love to my dad, my brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins, to all my husband’s family members, who have been such a special part of my life for 33 years, to my friends, near and far, those I’ve met in real life, and those I know only through the modern miracle of the internet. And always, of course, to my husband, my three amazing children and my wonderful son-in-law! Happy Valentine’s Day to you all.
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