On loss and Valentine’s Day

I Still Wonder – Patti Cates / Art created by Ian

Tomorrow is February 14 — Valentine’s Day. A day to celebrate love, your partner, and to do something special. A day that is special for lovers and for those in love. I hope that those in love enjoy the day and the time be together.

This time is so very special and is often taken for granted. My hope and prayer for all those who have a Valentine is to appreciate one another and to be thankful for one another. Also, please celebrate one another on more than just Valentine’s Day. After all, each day together is precious and you never know when one of you will no longer be there.

For those without a spouse, significant other, boyfriend or girlfriend, I hope you know and remember that you are loved and special. Please don’t be depressed about this day but instead do something special for yourself. This can be done by celebrating with your friends and your family. That is what I will be doing.

This year, I am very thankful that Kirk and I didn’t make Valentine’s Day the ultimate in romantic days for us. If we had, it would be an extremely painful day for me. He did not like the idea of just one day to be romantic or to send one another a special card or go out. He also didn’t like how everything costs more on Valentine’s Day than other days.  Neither did I.

We celebrated each other just because. He would give me flowers just because. We would go out to eat at a favorite restaurant just because. We would listen to a special song just because. We did exchange cards and used a few more than once for Valentine’s Day.

We both liked the Love Chapter from the Bible. It was very precious to us and we had it read at our wedding. I asked for it to be read again at Kirk’s memorial service and I cried as it was read. This is what love should be.  We were by no means perfect and did have our issues. But as I have said before, there was always love.

” Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” — 1st Corinthians 13:4-8.

Some upcoming days will be harder than tomorrow will be for me. These include: the day we met, when he proposed, his birthday, the day we got married, when Ian was born, special summer vacation times, and our holidays with our own traditions. I still miss him each day and cannot believe he is gone. Some days are better than others and others include real pain. I have a feeling it will be that way for a while.

No matter if you have someone special in your life or not, I hope you have a good and Happy Valentine’s Day! Blessings to you and yours.

A few quotes about Valentine’s Day and love:

  • “Oh! if it be to choose and call thee mine, Love, thou art every day my Valentine.”
    ~ Thomas Hood
  • “Love is a symbol of eternity. It wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear of an end.” ~ Author Unknown
  • “I don’t understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine’s Day. When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon.” ~ Author Unknown
  • “We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness — and call it love — true love.” ~ Robert Fulghum
  • “Grow old with me! The best is yet to be. ~ Robert Browning
  • “True love stories never have endings.” ~ Richard Bach

Love One Another

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA“Love is all you need.”  “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” “I will always love you.” “Love one another as I have loved you.” 

Love comes in many shapes and sizes.  There are many types of love and many things that define love.  As you know, we just celebrated the big love day of the year, Valentines’ Day. Well, it is a day that stores and restaurants try to make the big day.  We are encouraged to spend a marked up amount on flowers, eat out, and spend a lot on cards.

That is fine but why not enjoy a home cooked meal with our mate and children?  Why not enjoy our own tradition of handwriting a special card?  Why not have both of you sign the same card as Kirk and I did this year? And, why not remember to love and show our love each and every day?

Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed the fun of Valentine’s Day, the fancy dinners out, and the dozen red roses. There is nothing like that in the early stages of a relationship. But, more importantly, I like when Kirk gives me flowers just because, or has asked if I’d like to eat out after a tiring day at work, or wants to have a date night in the middle of the week.

I also like to do special things for him just because. And I like that we tell each other I love you every day.  And, we tell our son that as well. We also regularly demonstrate love to one other by the things we help with around the house, the projects, and the teamwork.

Before meeting Kirk, I had many years without a special someone. it could be tough at times but I did my best to enjoy time with my friends and family. I also learned to love myself and figure out what I wanted in a relationship. That was a blessing and helped me appreciate my relationship even more.

At the top of the blog, I listed a few quotes about love.  Here are my thoughts on them.

  • Love is all you need.  This is from a great Beatles song that I really like.  To me, we need more than love to have relationships work.  We also need trust, honesty, forgiveness, and patience.  Clearly love needs to be part of it since without it, it is very hard to have the rest.
  • Love means never having to say you’re sorry.  This was made famous in The Love Story movie.  I totally disagree with this sentiment.  To me, love means saying sorry often and as needed. Not so much that it means nothing, but enough to show we realize when we made mistakes.
  • I will always love you. This is from one of my favorite Celine Dion songs and is lovely. I agree that you can always love someone. However, you may not always like them and can get frustrated with them. True love means sticking with them through it all and always being there for each other. And loving unconditionally.
  • Love one another as I have loved you.  Christ told us to do this and I think we are lacking with this at times.  We seem to be a society of mistrust, gossip, and a lot of negativity.  I hope and pray that we can get back to truly loving others and wanting the best for each other.  People often try to take credit for another’s accomplishments or blame people when something doesn’t work out.  None of us are perfect and we all make mistakes. My hope is that we can find a way to be more loving and kind.

Love is an amazing gift and something that is rare and precious.  It is to be treasured and respected.  It is to be given freely and without expecting anything in return.  And, it is to be given without condition.

The loves in my life are:

  • My husband who I cherish
  • Our son who is a gift from the Lord and a blessing each day
  • My parents who taught me what love means
  • My siblings and their spouses who I adore
  • My nieces and nephews who I am fascinated by
  • My cousins who I have shared so much with
  • My aunts and uncles who love me like their own
  • My grandparents who I miss each day and loved talking with
  • My in-laws who welcomed me into their family
  • My lifetime friends who I have laughed and cried with
  • My newer friends who I am enjoying getting to know
  • My friends from work, school, and church who are so special
  • My loved ones who have passed and are still missed

I wonder if I will truly remember to love as Christ loved me.  I am going to do my best to do just that.  My prayer is that we all have love and can truly love others.

February 14 – Love

POD_3-7-2014_FlyHi and Happy Valentine’s Day.  Today’s Photo Challenge is Love.  How fitting for a day all about love.  My photos are of my two greatest loves — my wonderful husband and our amazing son. These two men mean the world to me and I am so glad to have them as my family.  I love them very differently yet both fully and with all that I am.

So it got me to thinking, how can you illustrate or define love? As you know, there are many types of love and definitions. We love our mates and children differently, we love our families and friends in other ways, we love our pets in a different way, and there is our love of God and our faith.  All of these loves are valid and real to us.

To me love is — given every day, compassion, forgiveness, honesty, kindness, generosity, patience, partnership, unconditional, raw and messy at times, beautiful, passion, being there for the good and bad in life, support, and forever.

There is a line in the movie “Love Story” that has always bothered me.  “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”  I totally disagree.  To me, love means you should say you are sorry.  Not too much that it means nothing, but when needed it should be said.

We all make mistakes and hurt one another.  Yet, because of love we can say we are sorry, change our behavior, and forgive one another.  And then you can move past the problem and continue to love.

One of the best descriptions of love is in 1st Corinthians 13: 4-8. Kirk and I had this read on our wedding day.  It meant the world to both of us.  This is from the New International Version of the Bible:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast. It is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

Isn’t that beautiful?  If only we could love others that way.  We are called by Christ to love others — including our enemies and those who seem the least lovable.  All of us need to be loved by someone.  My hope and prayer is that we can be more loving to those around us.

Today I am thankful for:

  • My husband for loving me as I am and being an amazing partner in all things
  • Our son who is the light of our life and an amazing gift
  • My parents who taught me what love is all about
  • My siblings (and in-laws) who I love to be with and admire so very much
  • My cousins who are true and real friends
  • My in-laws who are a wonderful addition to my family
  • My aunts and uncles who have taught me so much
  • My friends who I treasure — both old and new
  • My grandparents who demonstrated their love for one another
  • My nieces and nephews who enrich my world and are great friends to Ian
  • Our school and church friends who mean so much to the three of and who are teaching Ian so many things
  • Our community and neighbors who make us feel truly at home

May you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day full of love!  Whether or not you have a special someone, I hope and pray that you will know that you are loved.

Flashback Friday – My Valentines

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Friday.  For today’s Flashback Friday, I wanted to include a few pictures.  One is of my Valentines — my hubby and my son.  They are my true valentine and my little valentine.

This photo was taken three years ago when we were celebrating Valentine’s Day with a lovely lunch out.  It was fun to spend the day with my two guys.  Ian was in preschool at the time and we had the day to enjoy.  It was wonderful.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAThe second picture is of some Valentine’s gifts that Ian made for me while he was in preschool.  I still treasure them and love his creativity.

This year at school, Ian’s class worked on a writing of who their Valentine is.  Ian chose me and said he loves his mom and that I take good care of him.  What a sweet card that is.  I will treasure it always.

Today I am thankful for:

  • The love of a wonderful man
  • My partner and best friend
  • My son and his unconditional love
  • Hearing, “I love you Mom”
  • My parents and grandparents who demonstrated what true love and partnership is
  • My family for loving me as I am
  • My friends who I can laugh and cry with
  • Special notes and photos from loved ones
  • Saying “I love you” and truly meaning it and hearing it back
  • Loving others
  • Hugs from my dear ones

I wonder what our Valentine’s Day will bring?  I am sure more love, great food, a few treats, and special times together.  Have a great one.