The teenager approached me last week and said, “Valentine’s Day is just not what it used to be.” We always treated Valentines Day like a major holiday. I would decorate the house with hearts and quotes or scripture that depicted love. I bought ballons and decorated the dining room table with flowers for the honey girl and plates, napkins and a centerpiece. Leading up to the day I put love notes in their lunch boxes. But this year we only put the sign on the door. We pulled out the box but I realized that some decorations were missing or in bad shape.
The Fantastic 4 are with their dad this morning. There are no table decorations or balloons. Not yet. I think I will make a last minute run to the store like so many others to make this day special for them and our two friends who are spending the night with us so their parents can have a night out.
This day is hard for a lot of single people or people who thought they had a special person in their lives. This is the day that seperates the main squeeze from the side kick. This is the day people look at their lives and feel bad if they don’t receive flowers, a card, a box of candy, a text message, a tweet or some type of acknowledgement that they are loved. I don’t have words of comfort to offer you. But I will say I have been there.
Happy Valentines Day to all of you. Reach out to someone else and send them a bouquet of virtual flowers or just say “hi, I’m thinking about you.” Make this day and other days about somebody else. If you give it will be given back to you. Call it karma or the Golden Rule. But it works.
I use to believe I was created to love you
Now I know I was created to love
Love is not always easy like Sunday morning
Sometimes it’s difficult like Wednesday afternoon
I use to say my love was deeper than the ocean
Now I know it can be as shallow as a pond
I’ve heard that Love is patient and kind
But what about those days when I’m impatient and cruel?
What is that?
Is it possible to love without fear?
Is it possible to love without tears?
Sacrificial love, love that never fails, love that builds
Who is the man or woman of steel?
My love is given freely
But I still own the copyright
I’m really just sharing
Not really giving
I’ll take it back when I feel like it
It comes with disclaimers
Surrounded by warnings
It’s all that you ever wanted but didn’t know
My love is unending until the end
You will know its the end because love will have moved on
You see, love don’t live here anymore
Sorry to break the news to you
It packed up and moved when you left
It had moved in for you
And now it moved because of you
No, love don’t live here anymore
Just remnants remain along with memories and distant stares
Love walked out when you moved on
But so did fear
Love will return someday because it’s faithful
It just won’t have your name on it
It all began on a day when new beginnings where waiting to occur. It was after a breakup but before a makeup. Was it meant to be? On that day, yes it was. It wasn’t about the obvious it was about the underlying current that flowed through the room waiting to whisk them away to a time and place that only this journey could lead them to find.
Was it the stale donuts he offered as a sacrifice? Definitely not. Like Cain he didn’t give his best but a poor rendition of a sacrifice that would not appease the goddess of love. Unlike Cain, he made a second attempt and on the alter he placed what would spark the beginning and the end of something wonderful. Who knew the power of a chocolate chip cookie? He knew but did she?
As she arrived to the meeting location of the first date she rounded the corner to see him standing in the cold in long, black, wool coat. Did he look regal? As though he was the descendent of a king and a queen. Yes, regal, charming and captivating. He captured her heart right then and there. She knew but did he?
The only thing she remembers of that lunch on that afternoon was that smile and several small gestures. He opened the door to the restaurant, pulled out her chair, walked her to her car, opened the door and helped her in. She didn’t see these as insults or gestures aimed at destroying her independence or womanhood. She saw them as an example of his chivalry, regard and consideration. She knew but did he?
Days turned into nights and nights turned into days. Conversations and visitations led to laughter and more smiles.
He had learned, during one of those many conversations, that she liked to dance. They slipped in to a small place and easily found each others’ rhythm and danced to the beat of each others hearts. It was as if they had practiced the dance for months. It was easy and comfortable and familiar. They both knew.
The night did not end the way he had planned. He leaned in, she leaned away with a smile on her face but a look in her eyes that confirmed what he knew but he learned something else in that moment, patience would be his guide and surrender was not her companion. Another day, another date another place in time.
More chronicles of their journey on another day at another time…
I am not sure who to give credit to for the picture. From the Wizard of Oz.
I hope at some point in time you have seen the Wizard of Oz. If not, please add it to your list of movies to see. My focus is on the cowardly lion. We know is nature, the lion represents the king of beasts. He is supposed to be the big man on campus. He gets the big piece of chicken. He gets the honor at the head of the table because of his courage and willingness to sacrifice his life for his pride. At any point during the day, he could run into another lion who wants to challenge him and take over his pride. His job is take on the challenge and win. The lion has a sense of duty, honor and country (pride) that seems to be missing today in some.
I have a friend who graduated from West Point many moons ago. I had the privilege of attending the ceremony. I remember seeing the words Duty, Honor, Country and they were forever engrained in my memory. At West Point they are holding to a tradition that used to be common in our households.
Photo credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Duty- expected by moral or legal obligation, action or task required by a person’s position, an act or expression of respect
Honor- honesty, fairness or integrity in one’s beliefs and actions
Country (pride or family)- state, nation, land of one’s birth (taking creative liberty- the people you have promised to love, honor and respect or who you should feel an obligation towards due to their status in your life)
Back to the Wizard of Oz, the cowardly lion was going to see the wizard because he lacked courage. He doesn’t stand up when he’s afraid, he cowers and hides. We all have time in our lives when we want to run and hide. But, I am saying to you don’t give in to the fear, especially when it comes to your country (pride or family and your really good friends). Face the situation head on, dig deep within you and give out the biggest roar you can muster. If that doesn’t work, let the battle ensue. But, it’s better to stand for and represent duty, honor and country than to cower and run. The battle doesn’t have to be a physical battle. It may be a mental, verbal or prayerful battle. The battle is not always against someONE it could be someTHING.
(Spoiler alert!)As they discovered at the end of the journey to Oz, it was always there. He always had courage, he just didn’t recognize it in himself. Recognize the courage in yourself. Be ready to take a stand when it’s required. Other wise, enjoy the big piece of chicken you earned because you are proven and willing.
If I could love you through your heart ache I would
The things that plague you are beyond my natural reach
If I could kiss away your bruises I would
My lips cannot reach your past
If I could hug away the pain I would
But you hold onto it like it’s your lifeline
If I could set you on the road to freedom I would
But you hold the key to the shackles keeping you bound
If I could use my words to lift you up I would
But the weight of your burdens is too much for me to carry
But I will be your friend and I will walk with you ’til the end
I was talking to someone and they were saying they believe love is measured in sacrifice, the more you sacrifice the more you love and the more you love the more you will sacrifice. I am not sure that I completely agree with that thought. Sacrifice alone is not enough. If your words and actions don’t align with your sacrifice then you still end up at zero.
Does love spill over from one day to the other? Is love renewed and proven on a daily basis?
When I was married I honestly thought if I said I love you today then you should just assume I still love you tomorrow unless I said something different. I now realize some people need more. There is nothing wrong with showing, saying and sacrificing on a daily basis to confirm your commitment and love to those in your life.
There really is not a greater love than to lay down you life, agenda, pride, fear, guilt, preferences or plans for another.
A little bit of love goes a long way. I little bit of inconsideration goes further. Forgiveness bridges the gap between the two.