I really don’t know how I feel about Valentine’s Day. My memories of Valentine’s Day gone by have been horrible. When I was a little girl, my father point blank told me that our family does not celebrate “that day”. It is utter nonsense that people celebrate love one day. Love should be celebrated every moment of every day. So when I got my velvet hearts from school, I put them in the garbage before my father came to pick me up from school.
I have always been a romantic. I cry at the times the chick flick producers expect the viewers of their films to cry. I hang on to every word the actors say. I internalise every action of love in the movies, from the look to the touch to the kiss. I’m hopeless. So I’m a bit divided about how I feel about Valentine’s Day. As a teenager, our school would have a song request fundraiser for the Graduation committee. In addition to the song requests there would be cards and teddy bears and chocolates and of course roses. Every year of my teenage life I would wish with my heart that someone would request my favourite song at the time: Cupid by the group 112, or that I would get a special delivery of a rose. But every year was the same disappointing result.
As a woman I remember being in labour with my first child on Valentine’s Day. My water broke at 4 in the afternoon and the baby came the following morning. That Valentine’s Day was painful but the following day was even more joyful as I saw my first born and swore that I would die for him as love engulfed my body. As a woman I also remember my boyfriend breaking up with me on Valentine’s Day, telling me to find someone else because he was not good enough for me. As a woman I remember another Valentine’s Day, entering a restaurant by myself, dressed up to the nines. I looked pretty good after giving birth 6 weeks prior. The staff treated me like a queen and I still celebrate special occasions there.
I’ve made a decision. I love everything about Valentine’s Day. The pain and sorrow makes me appreciate the goodness even more and I am grateful for these experiences. I choose to celebrate God’s love for me by loving everyone. I open my hands, open my mind and open my heart this day and every day for the rest of my life. For I experience the love that is patient and kind, the love that does not keep record of wrong things and the love that never fails. I celebrate being engulfed in unconditional love and the feeling to love and to be loved permeates my soul. That’s how I love like that because God loves me and without God there is no love.