Whoever You Are

valentine's card for evievalentine's card for evie2-2

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There may exist more people than we realize who don’t like this holiday we call Valentine’s Day. Some, because its existence seems too forced {the reason I never really cared for it} or it comes off shallow and insincere. Others, because they don’t have their Other to celebrate with… either never having found them or having found, but lost them too. This year, my eyes are opened to a new kind of group who may not look forward to a holiday they once delighted in. Within this group might be a mom or a dad… even a sibling… who looked forward to some day sitting at the kitchen table, helping to make valentines for classmates and friends or siblings and grandparents, but won’t have that chance because the little one who they expected would grow up to make such heart-shaped impressions with never made it to their first Valentine’s Day. Here in this group you will find me.
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This will be the first Valentine’s Day of three that I make valentines with Izzy. I’m guessing we will only get around to making just one… for Dada… because I have plans for it to be somewhat elaborate and special, as it will be his first. So there may be no time for grandparents’ and cousins’ and friends’. In fact, now that I think of it, it would be too late to get those valentines to their recipients at this point. So it will be just the one. We shall make it while Mr. B is at work, ready for him to open upon his return.
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Perhaps we will make one for Anysia, too. I think I’d like to start that tradition. I can honestly say, I’ve not made a valentine in many years… not since I was just a little girl. How precious it was to receive one in the mail yesterday from one of my far-away friends. Not a grown-up valentine {even though she and I both are grown-ups}. I’m talking about one of those small kiddy paper valentines that come by the 100 in cellophane-covered boxes from the drug store valentines aisle next to the bags of candy hearts.
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I’m not sure if she sent it for this reason, but I like to think that it was because of Anysia, in an act to honor what life would be like with pinks, reds, ruffles and hearts all over the place {Valentine’s Day or not} if we had a little girl in our home. If that was her intention {which I have to imagine is the case, because this was a first in all the years I have known her since meeting at our jobs eight years ago}, then it was so very sweet of her to do. And even if it was not her intention, it made me smile.
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I also got some valentine chocolate in the mail, from an even older far-way {gal}entine of mine… a friend from college. And this time it was the grown-up version {as opposed to kiddy}… 70% cacao is no child’s play! I didn’t know she knew me so well as to know how much more I like dark chocolate than milk chocolate. I’m still savoring each bite and the thoughtfulness it came wrapped in.
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My sister offered to babysit so that Mr. B and I can go on a date tonight. So did one of my local friends, but for Sunday night. Some friends of ours did this for us on my birthday last September. They brought their three kids over and the whole family made/ate pizzas and watched a movie with Isaac, sending us to a favorite restaurant for dinner… their treat. This was just one of so many thoughtful, generous and beautiful things done for us by others in our time of sorrow… sort of that normalcy factor people tried to insert into our less-than-normal lives that I was talking about a couple posts back, but more than normalcy, just genuine kindness. I plan to write about many, if not all, of the thoughtful gestures that were lavished on us during this time, because 1) I want to remember them always, and 2) I want to express my gratitude for each one out loud as part of the story I leave for Isaac about his sister and how we came through the experience of having and losing her. Anyway, I remember that Mr. B and I had become so unaccustomed to going on dates since having Isaac, we didn’t know what to do after dinner was over. We found ourselves just itching to get home and be near Isaac. I was six and a half months pregnant at the time, so I was not really in a night-out-on-the-town frame of mind. It felt off to be out on a date or celebrating my birthday. It’s a bit how I feel today, only without the pregnancy aspect. Still, it will be nice to go be together, just us two, if we end up doing so.
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I saw this article yesterday, and it made me smile. Just because it’s smile-worthy, but also because it made me think of this note from Mr. B, and this one too. I love love notes. Love love. Sounds like I stuttered.
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Just some of my rambling thoughts this Valentine’s Day.
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And this. No matter who we see today, young or old, hitched or not, rich or poor, they are each one who needs love and is loved. Whether known or stranger to you or to me. Whether they have wronged us or done nothing ever to hurt or disappoint us. Whether they have made us feel loved or not. Whether they have a carefree life or a difficult one, or whether we know what their lives are like or not. Each one needs love and each one is loved. And not just today, but every day.
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The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
{Lamentations 3:22, ESV}
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For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
{John 3:16, ESV}
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Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God,
and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
{1 John 4:7, ESV}
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Happy Valentine’s Day {even if you’re not one to acknowledge it as such}. I hope it’s a lovely one.
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