A Different Kind of Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day. A holiday filled with candy hearts, flowers and romance. Opinions range from enjoyment to pure dread when it comes to this day. Personally, for the majority of my life, I have found the fanaticism in either direction confusing.
As the date of February 14th begins to grow closer, the conversation of what Jei and I would do to celebrate has come up. Initially, I found myself perplexed at how to respond. So I took a moment to think why my perspective was different. And then I remembered. Robert Downey Jr. and his dancing, singing and acting from years ago came into my life and changed the way I looked at the heart filled holiday. That’s right, I’m talking about the 1993 film known as “Heart and Souls.” An adorable movie with lovable ghosts, great dance numbers, and a family friendly message. Just the memory warms my heart.
While I could go on and on with a film review about a movie from the early 90’s, the true focus should be on my dedicated mother and her influence on my enlightened opinion concerning St. Valentine’s. I can still recall when I fully grasped her actual intent. It had been a particularly bad day for me, the attempted exchange of fun-filled little cards during class had ended with less than half a dozen in my own decorated box. As I lamented over my lack of secret admirers, I made my way home. Immediately my spirits were lifted as I saw the package of candy and a sweetly-written card left for me by my mother.
The annual dedication of motherly love struck me in a way that it hadn’t in years prior. The tradition of a card, candy and the Heart and Souls movie was her way of showing me that the holiday was about a simpler kind of love. Not the kind of love that could be commercialized, bought or printed on a card. Instead, it was about our loved ones and the act of showing them, in whatever way we could, that they were appreciated.
To this day I have taken that lesson to heart. I don’t need flowers, romance or an exotic vacation. I was never bitter or angry when I was single. I simply remembered that Valentine’s Day was about giving and receiving love from all of those in my life.
So this Valentine’s Day I will continue that tradition. I will sit down, enjoy Heart and Souls like I did so long ago, and be grateful for the love I have in my life.