|My Valentine - then|
Singles, whether by choice, circumstance, divorce or death of spouse, who have hidden in their homes all day, are now released from their prison of loneliness, despair, grief and are once again able to venture into the outside world without fear of being assaulted by others' romantic happiness.
For me and my spouse, Valentine's Day continues to live on. Not the day itself. But the meaning of the day. The idea of doing something special for the one you love, the one you are closest to, the one you are committed to and who is committed to you.
Most people measure their significant other's love for them and commitment to them in terms of gifts, flowers, meals, chocolate, etc. I've learned to measure the true worth of my relationship with Papa Bear in other terms. Ones not measured by money spent but by time and effort expended. When I was so traumatized and wrecked that I could not leave the house, drive, cook, etc., Papa Bear stayed with me and babysat me for weeks on end. Always there. Never complaining. My rock, my anchor, my best friend. Someone I can lean on and trust. That's love in action.
When I was in the worst of the trauma of 2011 and my survival was in doubt, Papa Bear displayed his own unique way of helping me through that incredibly horrible time. He put my camera in my hand, helped me pack an overnight bag (when required) and took me out of the situation. He gave me wonderful memories of a spur-of-the-moment trip to Niagara Falls. He showed me the wonders of the different waterfalls in the Hamilton, Ontario area. He turned a blind eye when I purchased yarn and more yarn and yet more yarn. He encouraged me in my endeavours. He validated my worth at a time when I felt totally worthless. He kept me from falling when my balance was off. He even did the dishes on occasion (now that is true love in action!).
Everyday he shows his love for me in practical ways - not a one day, one time event - but an everyday occurrence.
Today, we will show our love and commitment to each other again. Again in practical ways. Shared experiences and laughter.
No cards. No flowers which will wilt. No bills to pay later. Simply mutual love, honour and respect.