Valentine’s Day is this Sunday. Are you prepared? These days, when we think of Valentine’s Day we think of flowers, greeting cards and chocolates. (Don’t get us wrong, we love all those things and will be getting them for our significant others.) This holiday, as most holidays do, actually has its origins in religion, in this case as a liturgical celebration of one of the early Christian saints named Valentinus. Valentine’s Day first became associated with romance and love during the time of Geoffrey Chaucer in the late Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love first flourished. By the time of 18th century England, it had evolved into an occasion in which lovers, and hopeful lovers, expressed their affection by presenting flowers, offering candies and sending amorous cards. That tradition carries on today. Hence, the “are you prepared” question.
Valentine’s Day is not just for lovers. It is a day when everyone can unabashedly open their hearts to say “I love you.” Our young children are encouraged to make cards for the parents, grandparents, and others. Why can’t we, the adults, follow their lead and send a card to someone to let them know we are thinking of them? Better yet, why can’t we gather those around us who are most dear, and spend time with them? Our own Police Chief Jim Heavey has an understandably hectic work schedule. His wife, Kia, is equally busy, having just released her third novel. This weekend they will be spending time together, with their two children, in a car visiting colleges. Jim commented, “Those times when we are ‘off-line’ in the car as a family are very special. They will soon be just memories, so I guess we lucked out this year.”
When you think of Valentine’s Day, what do you think of? We think of our loved ones, yes, but we also think of others that are far from those they love. We think of the young men and women who are serving far from home to protect our freedoms. Those who stepped to the front of the line to volunteer to serve their country miss many holidays. We want to send them a Valentine’s message of thanks, gratitude and love.
We think of those whose loved ones have passed away and are alone. We want them to know they are not alone. Whether you have lost a parent, spouse or child, whether you have lived a full life or are in the middle of your journey, you are not alone. While you may grieve privately, we as a community embrace and celebrate your love. We want to send a big Valentine to those residents of the Mews who recently celebrated their 100th, 99th and 98th birthdays.
We should not need a day like Valentine’s Day, or Mother’s Day or Father’s Day for that matter, to let people know they are special. We should tell them all year long and often. Romance and affection should not be dictated by the calendar, but rather by what is in our hearts. As we have said before, our community is fast-paced and hectic, and that is not a bad thing. But we mustn’t lose sight of what is important, our loved ones. We should make sure that we, as children, parents, spouses, let those we cherish know we love them, support them and embrace them on a daily basis.
Yes, we will be stopping by our favorite florist this week and we will make reservations at a cozy restaurant on Sunday. It is supposed to be very cold on Sunday, so we may use that as an excuse for a fire in the fireplace as well. Since Monday too is a holiday for many, we most likely will find a fun movie to watch as a family. Truthfully, that is how we like to spend most weekends. Being in our house on Valentine’s Day is not an excuse, it’s the norm.