Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Power of Love

I think I have figured out why this Valentine's Day has been so trying for me. During most days of the year I keep it together. Meaning I appear composed and all that grief buried inside me stays there. But that inside grief doesn't just vanish with the passage of time. It remains. A fact that we have to learn to live with. And for the most part, with the exception of self-pitying blog posts where I can release some of my agony, I do manage to keep my chin up and trudge forward.

But on holidays and observations like Valentine's Day, I am visually assaulted from every direction. And this year's visualizations seemed bigger and that there were more of them for sale. Maybe it is because of the stilted economy. But there was a balloon at the store that had to be five feet long. I'm not sure how it would fit in a vehicle to get home! Cute singing stuffed animals - huge flower arrangements - giant chocolate covered strawberries. All kinds of goodies brought out just for this occasion.

I do not begrudge anyone lucky enough to have love in their life. Love has been a major part of my consciousness since my husband's death. I believe love is the most important thing in the world and that the world needs more of it. Like Christmas, this is a day that receives a lot of focus and attention that is forgotten soon afterward. Instead of rushing to the gas station to pick up that 19.95 bouquet of roses to present to your sweetie, we all need to concentrate on demonstrating our love in kindness and actions, not objects, every day of the year.

So I'm surely not resentful of the fortunate people out there receiving valentines today. I suppose a little bitter and jealous. But I don't want to begrudge others their happiness or take that away from anyone.

Being bombarded every which way by reminders of love, lovers, romance, togetherness, marriage, commitment and the whole nine yards is like the world rubbing my nose into what I don't have and most want right now. To be in love and remarried. As a result of my childhood issues and probably my personality makeup in general, I have great difficulty living on my own. I want to be married and not just in a committed relationship. Sam moving away and my decision to remain here for the boys to finish high school has hit hard right now. Because I have given up the security and safety of being able to live with someone. And that is big for me.

The tokens and symbols of this day - the cards. hearts, candy, champagne, flowers and other pretties end up representing far more than mere gestures of love and affection. They are reminders of the pain I feel from having lost a husband too soon and having a marriage end before its time. I think also having the new losses of moving from my home and then Sam's departure are still very close to the surface and fresh. As a result, this year's day of love was harder to face.

I finished the large pink heart hanging I crocheted for the front door this morning and have hung it up (taking my giant mittens down for now). I want this heart to symbolize my hope for more love in this household and the entire world! This was a rough Valentine's for me. I wish it wasn't because there is enough hardship as it is. Tomorrow some of the red and pink will thankfully come down in the stores and windows. I am already planning on my next door display to be a rainbow and pot of gold. That will be fun to work on. But I'll leave the pink heart up another week or so. And tonight I'll celebrate love of family with the boys. We will feast on our little heart-shaped cakes, and Twizzlers.

Before this day ends, here are words of Danielle Steel. They appear in the beginning of one of her recent books, "One Day At A Time." I found them lovely, touching and inspiring.

"Whatever happens, has happened, or will happen,
I still believe in Love, whatever orthodox,
unorthodox, ordinary, or extraordinary form it takes.
Never give up Hope.


Today I am grateful:

1. For the "free" cake I ended up receiving since the package was priced incorrectly.
2. That there is a day devoted to the demonstration and reflection of love - we need more.
3. For the power of love because I firmly believe it is the most powerful force in the world.
4. For snowmen.
5. For the gift card my son's track coach gave him that allowed the purchase of new track shoes and compression shorts.


  1. May your wish for more love come true.

  2. though Sam does not live close you are still his Valentine, right? and he, yours? he had to go for a better job which in today's economy is crucial. but he didn't desert you. i'm caught up on this right? he is still in your life?

    being apart is hard but you are sacrificing for your sons and in the long run that is more important. they are your children and your strength and guidance is what they need. when they are grown they will look to you as men. like my own son, they will call and check on you, and take care of you. their love for you will be a net under you so that you never fall.

    but Sam is also waiting for you, doing what he has to do to create a better life and one day soon you can join him. you may be without him for the time being but the love you feel for each other is alive and vibrant. and when you can visit with each other, that time will be all the more special. so maybe you do not have candy or a card or have him sitting beside you, but you do have love. you have your Sam.
    (oh, Lord, i hope i'm right about this. i've been so buried these last almost 10 days missing my Dragon. last weekend watching it come, and then all this past week, and now this weekend. one year. it's been as hard as ..... nevermind. i just hope i'm right - that Sam is still your love.)

  3. WnS, I am so sorry these past 10 days have been so hard on you. Anniversaries of any kind are the worst. I found this past year that the build up to it was actually worse than the actual day. Anticipation is a rough thing. Your Dragon is still with you, still your Valentine, now and forever.
    Widow, I love what you said about celebrating those we love on more than one day a year. I think, all too often, until something dramatic happens we humans tend to take it all a little too much for granted. It isn't until it is taken away altogether or threatened so to the core that we see what has been in front of us all along. A gift. A gift with a timestamp on it. If I had one message I'd like to give to the world it's that the timestamp will run out faster than you ever imagined. Celebrate and hold on to what you have while you have it. It will be gone sooner than you could ever imagine.

  4. Thelma - Yours is a truly appropriate wish for all of us on this Valentine's Day!

    Dear sweet, kind, compassionate wNs- My selfish and trivial issues are the least you should be focused on this week but I appreciate your care and concern. Yes, Sam and I are still together although it is challenging for me right now because of the long distance factor. It has just been a bit of a tough stretch with Valentine's Day kind of being the last straw.

    Sometimes it is all just too hard to bear. I am making sacrifices for my boys because I feel ultimately it is the right thing to do. That doesn't make the tough times easier to get through though.

    Thanks as always for being there and thinking of others, especially when it has been a particularly significant week for you.

  5. Kelly - I am in total agreement with what you say about the gift being right in front of us all the time. I think some of the world may be receiving this message as we mourn the untimely and tragic death of the young athlete at the Olympics. I know this has touched me. None of us knows what lies ahead on any given day.

  6. Thinking of you today ... and sending hugs ...

  7. CCC - Thank you for sending kind sentiments my way on Valentine's Day. It means a lot to know that I was thought of on a tough day for so many of us. There is a great deal of power in the act of spreading kindness and grace to others in need. I hope your day was touched with love.