Valentine’s Day, a day I have always liked to pull a Scrooge and say “Bah Humbug.” It has never been one of my favorite holidays. Maybe because for most of my life I never had a “Valentine.” Maybe because I see this holiday as something created by a candy company as a way to sell a bunch of nasty-tasting chocolates. Perhaps the “card” company, you know the one I am talking about, created the holiday to put a little spice in the winter months and sell sappy cards. But wait, I don’t want to loose you as a reader…just hear me out on this.
I know this is a bit pessimistic, and pessimism is one thing I hate. But how many of you will find yourself happy, sad or stressed out over this simple holiday in the middle of winter? I am not saying it is a bad holiday; just that it isn’t one of my favorites. I am a sentimental person, so I can’t even explain why February 14th has never been a day of anticipation for me.
I remember junior high and high school, seeing all dating couples celebrate this one “day of love” and just thinking to myself, why does “love” have to exist on one day? Why do we feel the need to really show love to someone we care about on a designated day? Can’t people feel this way every day of the year? Or show the love more than once? Then again, maybe I am putting too much thought into the entire scenario.
I also find it ironic that the one holiday I really could care less about is the holiday that marks the death of my beloved father. This Valentine’s marks two years of not having him here on this earth. Death is an interesting thing, a total life experience. It is something that can be hard to really put into words-it can only be felt first-hand. Kind of like a hard slap in the face by someone you love.
But I still feel the need to celebrate Valentine’s Day because of my husband and my children. Especially my oldest; she is 6. She views it as a day where she has a classroom party, eats lots of candy and gets out of school early. I feel the need to give my children little tokens of my love for them, sign a couple cards and try to find a unique gift for my husband. I am torn between two strong emotions, love and grief. I grieve because I still remember ever inkling of learning how my dad passed, all the horrible moments to follow. Yet, I love celebrating that special bond I share with my loving husband and my children. Life is like that, though. Pulling and pushing you in two different directions, making your head spin around like the girl in movie The Exorcist.
We all have parents, some of us are fortunate enough to know our parents, perhaps be extremely close to them. Wherever you fall in this category, when you loose one of your parents it really takes a toll on you emotionally, even physically. For two years I have tried to cope with the fact that I can never hug my father, never hear his calming words. Never see his twinkling blue eyes full of laughter. It is gone, sealed shut in a grave marked by a plaque and flowers. And this makes me think about the kind of parent I need, should and want to be for my own children. It makes me cringe at the mistakes I have made along the road of motherhood. It makes me feel good when I know I have succeeded at something.
Being an only child, I grew up extremely close to my parents. I had wonderful relationships with both my mom and my dad. And I thank God everyday for the wisdom and guidance they both gave me in life. Holidays will never be the same without my dad, and I know my mom struggles with this. Dad touched a lot of lives and served the community in his medical practice. I just hope that I am not the only one who misses him, who feels that void in the heart.
I don’t know how you will celebrate this Valentine’s Day, but I know how I will always celebrate mine. I will toast my family, give cards to my husband and kids, but I will always have to hold back those tears I want to shed over loosing my dad. I dedicate this post to his memory. I dedicate this post to my mother. I dedicate this post to my family. I dedicate this post to YOU. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.