Valentine’s Day is the “love” holiday, the day we celebrate our love, and honour our sweethearts. From tiny tots to grandparents, the expressions of love and affection will flow.
In thinking about Valentine’s Day and wanting to do something special for my darling, I reflected on the everyday ways people show their love. The way I see it they really are more meaningful than a red rose, a meal out or some bling. Not that they aren’t lovely, too, but the others are what keep the love fires burning year-round.
My neighbour John has been married for maybe 60 years and his wife is now in extended care with Alzeimer’s. He visits her twice a day though she may not recognize or know he’s there. When my mom was in care at the end of her life there was a couple there who every day had dinner together because for 62 years they had dinner together; again, he may not have known his wife was present.
It’s the cup of coffee freshly ground, dark and strong delivered every morning with the newspaper to the bedroom. It’s watching hockey games in the regular season, and true devotion is watching Sportsnet afterwards.
It’s taking dance lessons, or learning to sing so you can do something special at your wedding. It’s going for a hike when you want to nap, it’s washing the car and filling the gas tank every Saturday morning.
It’s filling a room full of heart-shaped post-it notes so that while you are away your sweetheart will think of you. It’s finding Internet connections where ever you travel so you can Skype and show each other where you are. It’s a phone call, a text, or an e-mail to say “thinking of you.” Sharing a joke, a story, holding hands. The power of touch is amazing.
It’s driving every summer to Saskatchewan to visit the family. It’s for joining our families of origin and keeping your views of their quirks to yourself.
It’s being kind, honest and truthful, fighting fair, compromise, talking, sharing ideas and feelings, taking a walk when you need to leave the room so nothing you regret comes out. It’s about respect.
It’s for listening when you have had a great day, a bad day, or need to rant. It’s someone who shares our history who knows our story. A hand to hold, or a hand to squeeze when visiting the doctor, having a baby, or sitting in emergency waiting for the doctor. It’s our safe place.
Some are better than others for expressing their feelings, some may never say the words “I love you” but say it with their actions every day.
Having a day to remind us about how fortunate we are to have love can be a good day. And I think the person we truly need to love the most is ourselves because through that love flows all other love.
Michele Blais is a longtime columnist at The Morning Star who writes about a variety of issues twice a month.