Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day: Like It? Love it? Could skip it?

For about a month now, I’ve been thinking about writing a blog about “love”. Since having been part of such a wonderful journey with Patti’s kidney donation, I have come to meet so many people like Patti; people that spend their lives loving and being the good, faithful servant we all strive to be. In my entire life, I don’t think I’ve witnessed love like I did during those few weeks. I have definitely felt loved by my family and friends but seeing what I saw at that hospital made me feel totally different about love.  I now have hope for love, I believe it exists and is real, I’m no longer afraid of it, and I want to experience it first hand! 

I watched as Patti showed such an unselfish love by giving John the gift of life, her kidney. She was willing to risk her own life to save his life. I think that kind of love is hard to find. But, as I sat at the hospital with Patti, I began to see that kind of love more and more.  Maybe my eyes were just more open to it, but as her friends visited her throughout her stay there, I came to see so many people with that kind of love. It was undeniable that love like that exists and that so many people in the world are capable of exuding it.

One particular couple came to the hospital several times during Patti’s stay there. The very first time they walked in the room I couldn’t take my eyes off of them. I was drawn to the energy they gave off. I believe they have been married for almost 30 years and they have two beautiful, grown daughters. Every time the wife spoke to Patti, her husband would just stare at her and take in every word she said.  He didn’t want to miss seeing one breath she took.  As he spoke, I noticed she did the same thing.  
It was one of the most beautiful loves I have seen in my entire life.  They made each other laugh and you could just tell they were truly each other’s soul mate. They live to be in love with each other.

After they left the hospital one day, I asked Patti how someone could still be so in love after being married for almost 30 years.  She said she has asked them that before and their answer was that “they have the same best friend…Jesus.” They keep Him in the center of their life and He guides their marriage and the life they share with one another.

For weeks, I have thought about this particular couple over and over again.  Last night, I was invited to a valentine dinner at their house and I watched them some more.  He was by her side in the kitchen the entire time.  They NEVER stopped smiling at one another.  I left last night thinking about them some more. I bet every single day of their life is like Valentine’s Day.  That kind of love is a gift from God.

Since I wanted to write about love, and Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, I thought why not make this blog about Valentine’s Day!!!

When I think about Valentine's Day, I think about my Grandfather...we called him PawPaw. PawPaw went to heaven a few years ago but for 20-something years he made an impression on me every Valentine’s Day!

Growing up, I spent lots of time at MawMaw and PawPaw's house. From the time I can remember, PawPaw would come home from work on every Valentine’s Day and give MawMaw a big heart-shaped candy box with an assortment of chocolates in it. You know what I'm talking about don't you? The ones where you never know what you're eating until you actually bite into the piece of candy?!  MawMaw's face would always light up when he handed it to her.  Her heart-shaped candy box was never plain looking; there was always something special about her box. It might have gold glitter writing on it or maybe even a raised, silk surface on it. It always looked beautiful to me!

Then, he would give my Mama and her two sisters a medium-sized heart candy box with assorted chocolates in it. Finally, he would give my two sisters and me a small heart-shaped candy box with an assortment of chocolates in it. So, before he came home on every Valentine’s Day, he would buy 7 assorted chocolate heart candy boxes! Can you imagine how expensive Valentines Day was for him?!  It' was something I always looked forward to. We couldn't wait to open our boxes. My sisters and I would open them and squeeze each piece of candy to see what was inside of it. If it happened to be a flavor we didn’t think we'd like, we'd trade with one another! Those were fun times!!

Another fond Valentine’s Day memory was taking valentine cards to all my classmates when I was in elementary school.  Mama would buy me a box of little cards and I would fill them out for everyone in my class. But first, I would pick out my favorite card and write it to the boy in class that I wanted to be my boyfriend.  Then, after all the cards in class were distributed, I would look through all of mine and find the card he gave me and hope that he wrote something special on it. That is too funny!! 

As an adult, it seems like I'm always single on Valentines Day! I remember two times actually having a dinner on Valentine's Day with a guy I was dating!  I wonder why that is? I like Valentine's Day but I just haven’t really celebrated it that much. It’s not that I don’t want to celebrate it because I am truly a romantic.  I would LOVE to celebrate it, but I’m just always single on February 14! I’ve decided that God has so many exciting Valentine Days planned for my future and He’s just saving them for me!!  :)

I've asked some of my friends what they think about Valentine’s Day and their opinions go from one end of the spectrum to another. Here are some of the things they have said to me:

"I love Valentines Day! I have a new dress to wear out for my dinner! I can't wait!" (Obviously, a girl said this)

"It's such a commercial holiday. Shouldn't you act like you love someone all year round?" (One of my guy friends said this).

“I have to buy something else?  I spent all my money on Christmas gifts for him.  It’s a girl holiday anyway, right?” (A girlfriend said this)

“I stay at home on Valentine’s weekend.  It makes me sad watching all these couple out having fun and I don’t have anyone.” (A few friends thought this)

“Oh, I think it’s so sweet! I have been ready for Valentine’s Day since last Valentine’s Day!” (A girl said this)

“It’s SO EXPENSIVE! Roses are triple the price!” (A guy said this)

“I go all out. I have a hair appointment, a new outfit, and I’m going to cook for him!” (A very excited girlfriend)

“It’s so stressful. I don’t know what to do. I want to do something she’d like but I have no idea!” (A really sweet guy said this)

“If I’m in a relationship, I love this day! If I’m not in a relationship, I get a little sad so I go out and buy myself a valentine’s card or candy!”  (A girlfriend of mine)

So, as you can see, everyone has a different opinion about the day set aside each year to celebrate your love for someone.  I’m sure that each person has different opinions about Valentine’s Day depending on their life that year.  So many factors can influence how you feel about that day.  Some of those are: finances, whether you’re single or not, in a new relationship or in a committed long-term relationship, etc.

Like I said before, I actually like the holiday!  I like to buy Mama something and also my nieces a gift (if only I could remember to get it in the mail to them).

Y’all know I love the Bachelor show! I think I love it because I love all the fun dates they seem to go on. I would LOVE to go on fun trips or do fun things like they do with someone I love. Every date on the Bachelor (unless there’s drama) seems like it’s on Valentine’s Day. I am definitely a hopeless romantic.  I look forward to the day when I can plan a trip on Valentine’s Day with someone I am totally in love with!  Good things come to those who wait!! 

While I wait, I will spend my Valentine’s Day like I do every other day of my life. On Valentine’s Day this year, I have booked a writing appointment and at dinnertime, I will do a kickboxing class! I’m not gonna sit at home wishing I was at a romantic, candlelit dinner!  I’m going to do something for me!! I hope that all of my other single friends find something to do and that all of my friends that are in relationships (dating or married) have the best night ever! 

I feel so lucky to have seen such beautiful love this year. I can honestly say I used to be a little bit cynical about love. The songs I love the most are songs about falling out of love. That will probably never change; it’s just in my makeup and who I am. Coming from a very broken home has something to do with that I’m sure. But, I do think I am a different person now.  I believe in LOVE and I want to love. I want to spend my life with someone that doesn’t look beyond me to see what’s waiting in the wings.  I want him to watch every syllable that I say and believe that I am God’s gift to him.  I now know that’s not living in a fantasy world...  It exists and I am going to have that one day!! 


  1. WOW!! Thanks for sharing Julie... I myself have been single for most of my Valentine's Day's as well, even when I was married, both times it always seemed like I was alone, Ive never had that REAL TRUE Love that you talk about, My birthday is also on Valentines Day so it makes it even more lonely, but I do believe that one of these days I will find MY Real Valentine and I believe you will too... Can't wait to see you again!! Julie

  2. julie,love needs to treat you extra special. to steal a phrase from jewel
    "you are loved beyond your ability to comprehend "

  3. Oh my gosh, after reading this it just made me feel so much better about this holiday that some of us do dread so much! It lifts me up and gives me hope that I too will find the love of my life one day! I trust in god with all my heart and can't wait to see all he has in store for my future!!! Thanks Julie for sharing this!!!

  4. Julie,
    I almost started this with "someday", but strike that....ONE DAY, you will find a love that will make up for each and every Valentine's Day you spent alone.

    Have you considered auditioning for "The Bachelor/Bachelorette"? You'd be fantastic and come with a built in fan base to cheer you on!

    Might be just the ticket for you on many levels...

    Keep your heart open and love will find its way in. I promise.

    (I sent an email to your fan club address. I hope you received it)