L is for the way you look at me…
As the “month of love” ends the month of March begins, and with it comes the promise of spring! I love spring, always have. Living in South Florida, we don’t actually get much variance as the “seasons” change but there is still something about it that leaves me feeling refreshed and renewed!
It was my intention to write a Valentine’s post, but with the loss of my pup, Riley, the end of January and much of February slipped away from me. No part of me felt like celebrating anything. Nick made surprise dinner reservations that we almost canceled so that we could stay in with our other dog, Zoe (she is having a hard time being left alone without her brother). Luckily, my family watched her for us and we made it to our dinner after all. We had a great time and some tears were inevitably shed (by me haha) as we reminisced on the changes in our lives over the last year. I was happy to have that night with my husband and thankful for Valentine’s Day all over again. So, here is my “finally feeling inspired to write” post on Valentine’s Day… better late than never!
Valentine’s Day has gotten a lot of heat lately, or at least I feel that it has. I have heard countless times from countless people how Valentine’s Day is a “Hallmark Holiday,” and that you should celebrate your love every day. I do believe half of that statement to be true; you should celebrate your love every day in one way or another- big or small. If you’re reading this and believe the first half of that statement to be true, that it is a holiday designed to profit card and candy companies, allow me to shed some light on the origin of Valentine’s Day and St. Valentine himself.
It is to be believed that, way back when (an official time period in my vocabulary), there was a Roman Emperor who thought unmarried men would make better soldiers than married men. The Emperor feared that married men would not fight as effectively as unmarried men for fear of what would come of their families in the event of their death. His solution to his imagined problem? He banned all marriages in Rome. Valentine, a priest, believed in the sanctity of marriage and feared the possibility of people “living together in sin” (hah!), so he secretly married couples throughout hidden places in Rome. He was caught, imprisoned, and tortured, but he never turned on his beliefs. While imprisoned he wrote many letters and signed them “your Valentine.” Legend has it that he was executed on February 14th, way back when. Valentine was a martyr and is known today as the Patron Saint of Love.
If you believe the legend to be true, Valentine’s Day is more than just a random day chosen to boost sales of heart shaped boxes filled with mystery chocolate. It is a day to celebrate your love without boundaries, without rules. It’s a symbolic day to remind us to act with love in the present.
I still believe we have a long way to go to love freely and equally in our day and age. Today’s equivalent of that crazy emperor banning marriages is the struggle for same-sex couples…for their marriages to be legally recognized across the board (that board is the world by the way). Now, with more than half of the United States legally recognizing same-sex marriages, let’s express love and acceptance more than ever. Let’s openly accept each other as equals; let’s change those numbers, let’s change history! Let’s stop fighting against love and move to demonstrate love in all that we do. It isn’t always easy, but I can promise that it is always rewarding; love creates and inspires growth.
As time passes and another Valentine’s Day creeps up on us, I hope you remember to express and accept love- to your partner, to your family, to your friends, to your enemies, and to strangers. It’s just a day, a symbolic day, to remind us about the essence of love (in any form); embrace it.
To my husband… thank you for showing me love each and every day, and for teaching me new ways to love each and every day.
To my family… thank you for loving me, and supporting me always.
To Riley… thank you for the greatest 15 years of my life and for reminding me why loving so deeply is worth the risk. I love you and miss you more than my heart can stand.
And to St. Valentine… I’m sorry I lived in sin before I got married!
featured photo pc: The Big Day