I wanted to start this off with how I wanted to take the head off of every mannequin wearing sexy lingerie, or how I tear up still when I see cards for "My Sweet Hubby". Both are temptations.
Mostly, I want to, as lonely and sad as I feel today, talk about the love I've felt for a man I loved for 20 years. Jason and I did celebrate Valentine's Day. We exchanged cards, we went out, dressed up, and placed roses in a vase on our kitchen table. Valentine's seems sad, though, in other ways. It's become so commercialized! I say Yes! Have a romantic night, but don't just have it on Valentine's Day. Love for each other also means being there through thick and thin. Yes, that is cliche, but it's true. You also love each other when one of the partners is vomiting hopelessly from stomache flu on your tenth anniversary, suffering pneumonia together on Christmas Day (yes, we both had it at the same time!), sitting at the bedside of the other in the hospital, visiting doctors together and hoping that the mole you have isn't malignant melanoma (it was). It's holding hands and holding your loved one when there's fear.
Love is also laughing together as you realize that, as poor as you are, you really can get a free hot dog at the Ford dealership and meet Nicky Fordinsky (interesting experience). Jason and I didn't get through 20 years together without clashing. We made it a ritual, every day, to tell each other we loved each other, even when it was done through clenched teeth. We were both good yellers! But we ended the days, most days, saying "thank you for the day".
I'm not a love guru, by any means, but, because of some of the hard times and good times, I've had to rethink how I viewed Valentine's Day. I was given a Valentine's Card this morning by my mother. I felt horrible because I didn't give her one. My reason was, as I said earlier, I avoided the Valentine's Card aisle. I was lucky to have someone in my life romantically, but I've also learned how to see my family, friends, and, even people I've never met, with love. I truly hope this doesn't sound overly saccarine, but it hasn't come easy. Even now, as I fight tears over Jason, I want others who have never felt loved to experience it, whether it be romantic for a time or romantic growing into something deeper.