A Writing Life: What Does A Valentine Really Look Like?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

What Does A Valentine Really Look Like?

I'm a hopeless romantic. I write romance novels for a living. And yet, I struggle with Valentine's Day. I got sucked into it when I was younger. I thought it meant flowers, candy, and gifts. I have since learned otherwise. 

In 22 years of marriage, I've seen that flowers, candy, and gifts are lovely, but a Valentine they do not make. I'm not talking about a card. I'm talking about "You're my Valentine." My special someone. The person I love most in this world. And I've been fortunate enough to see it in the relationships of those close to me.

I just spent the past week hanging out with my nephew who is in the hospital. And what I saw in my sister and her husband was the definition of a true Valentine. It had zero to do with a monetary gift, but rather love in action. Praying over their son together. My brother-in-law making sure my sister had shampoo each morning from the hotel to shower and change. Bringing her breakfast each day. Rubbing her back and her feet. Making her laugh. My sister making sure her husband got rest so he could go to work each day, even amidst the chaos and stress. Shooting him with a nerf gun to tease him and make him laugh. Running home for a few hours to do laundry, keep their home in motion. It's teamwork personified. 

Am I against buying that special someone roses on Valentine's Day? Of course not. I simply mean to say that true love, the kind that I believe stands the test of time is more about a selfless attitude, one that puts another person's needs above their own. Holding each other through trials. Laughing with one another, despite the circumstances. I pray my children and nephews will find this kind of selfless love and will BE this kind of selfless love. When both people do that, it works. 

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