I spent a half hour composing a post this morning. It was full of humorous little lines, a poem I wrote, reflections on Valentine’s Day as a kid…you know, the anticipation of waiting to see if the boy sitting two aisles over in History class would finally notice you and give you a silly card that said “Be Mine”. But I had to set the draft aside for a bit so I could take my 12-year old Australian Shepherd to the vet to get his teeth cleaned.
When I arrived at the vet’s office, an older woman was leaving, tears streaming down her face. My stomach jolted. Oh, this can’t be good, I thought.
I herded my Aussie inside and an older gentleman stood at the counter. His eyes were swollen, red, but the tears had dried. He tried to smile at me, but took one look at my pup, and his bottom lip trembled. He finished filling out the paperwork and went back into the first examining room, sniffling. I could see from my vantage point a large black and tan dog laying on his side on the exam table, a heavy blue chenille blanket draped over his back. He wasn’t moving. The door closed and a tear rolled down my cheek.
A precious life was gone, and the couple that loved him was grieving.
This got me thinking about Valentine’s Day and my silly little post I’d started, and I realized something more needed to be said.
Today is supposed to be a day to show love. It’s a day of happiness, frolicking and being young and silly. It’s a day devoted to holding the ones you love close to you. Sadly, for this couple, it will not be a joyful day. It will be a day of sadness, hurt, tears. It will be a day to cling to one another and comfort each other in their sorrow.
Experiencing their loss from a distance only made me more aware that Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be celebrated one day a year…we should celebrate it 365 days a year. We should never put off hugging our children or our mates. Every now and then, give your loved one a card that says “Just Because”. Play with your kids, run with your dogs, pet your cat. Speak kind words. Don’t be afraid to hug someone or say “I love you.” Love with all your heart and might. A minute from now may be too late.
Remember, love isn’t about how many flowers or candies you give or if she has the biggest, flashiest diamond. It’s about just being there. Showing your support. Being there through the good and the bad. Always speaking honestly, but gently. It’s about being affectionate and paying attention to each other’s needs. It’s knowing when to offer advice and when to step back and give some space. Love forgives so don’t go to bed angry, and treasure your time together. Make beautiful memories, take lots of pictures and never lose your childish enthusiasm.
Most of all, live everyday like it was Valentine’s Day. Your life will be richer for it.