Yeah, I’m one of those “holiday themed guest towels” ladies.
Picked up the habit from Mom, who fretted excessively about the state of the hallway bathroom whenever guests were coming over. She had quite a collection of “guest towels,” most hand-embroidered, by her mother or grandmother. I have some of those now. Or, she would buy packets of paper “guest towels” and it would be my job to arrange them precisely on the rack before any guests arrived.
They had guests over a lot, almost every weekend, for cocktails.
After the first two years in this house, we never had guests.
Mike didn’t like to socialize, fell out with his family and mine, and wouldn’t have them or anyone else over here. So it was just the three of us, for fifteen years.
Now its just the two of us. I’m still working on the house to make it fit to have anyone over. Not sure I’ll ever get there.
But I put the towels up anyway, to brighten the place, because my daughter does love holidays. Sets her calendar by them.
She calls today Valentine’s Day, but more often, she calls it “Love Day.”
“Happy Love Day, Mom!”
Today I’m thinking about bloggers I’ve “met,” by reading their blogs, where I found some shared experience.
And because of that, I know there’s a good chance some of them will be hurting somehow, today, on “Love Day.”
Missing a loved one. Feeling lonely.
Or feeling betrayed.
If that’s you, I hope today you can remember love, and try to remember it with joy.
Easier said than done, I know. I’ve already had one quick round of weeping today, when my daughter repeated, “it’s hard to live without a husband,” echoing me, because I had said that to her after we talked about how it is hard for a young woman to live without her Dad. Trying to show her I share her grief, in my way.
“It’s hard to live without a husband, too. I miss him too.”
“I’m Dad’s Valentine in heaven.”
Yes, sweetie, you sure are.
“You’re my best Valentine, Mom.”
Sniff. Sniff. Blink, blink.
“You OK, Mom?”
“Yes, sweetie, I’m fine.” Tissue.
Today I’m thinking of those who grieve. Those who feel their life has been diminished, and can never be whole or full again. Those for whom today is a day where each breath threatens to become ragged, and each exhalation risks an accompaniment of tears.
I hope today on Love Day you can remember that you are loved, and that, as Mike said to our daughter from his deathbed, “love never ends.”
I am also thinking of those who have suffered loss not through death, but through betrayal. I have read how they have endured infidelity and lies, that, when discovered, left them feeling that everything they thought they knew was wrong, that the love they thought was theirs isn’t, and may never have been, and their life as they knew it has dissolved, leaving them feeling cold and hollow.
And then feeling really, really pissed off.
I’m hoping, if you are one of the betrayed, that today, you can decide not to dwell in anger.
I hope that you can decide not to let bitterness consume you.
By losing Mike I learned that despite whatever pain it has inflicted, life is precious and time is limited.
It makes me sad to think that someone’s ill treatment of you has caused your life to stall and sink and left you mired in fury and pain.
Mike and I went through it. We stayed together. We made it back to each other, after years and years, back to the love that was there underneath it, all along.
I know it’s a struggle. I’ve been through the un- and underemployment, the caregiving and the financial worries. I’m hoping today in spite of it all you’ll find a hand, or the strength, to pull yourself out of the mire into the light that can be the rest of your life.
I have found solace by finding gratitude. For every breath that may get raggedy, for every tear that may fall and for every time my resident angel, my amazing daughter, beams her beautiful, unconditional love my way and out into the world.
Today if you are hurting, I hope you find consolation.
And if no one has claimed you as theirs today,
Will you be my Valentine?
“In the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.” – the Beatles.
Wishing you peace, solace and light on “Love Day,” I remain,