Each year one of my neighbors does something so sweet that perfectly captures the spirit of Valentines Day in an expression of generous love.
So often Valentines Day is filled with selfishness and agendas. The gift is used as a weapon or as something to be evaluated to see if it is sufficient.
We lose track of the person we’re giving it to and what we can do to make them feel loved and cared for.
Maggie brought me a bag of peanut M & Ms. I gave her a nice tea ball. Two simple gifts that were more about the person receiving the gift than the giver.
My sister texted me a heart emoji to start my day.
Perfect. What more do I need.
One friend texted to make sure I was ok on Valentines Day.
I was. I am. But I really appreciate him asking.
Another friend texted that her wish was that Kim sends me a sign today.
Again, perfect. I imagine that the child next to me at the coffee shop who rolled her eyes back at something her friend said was just that sign.
Kim and I seldom exchanged anything but cards on Valentines Day. We made each other cards that captured something we were thinking about.
Last year she gave me something.
It was small, thoughtful, personal, and was something that she had to think about and do. It said so much about her and what she thought of me and our future together that I am still moved a year later.
She really was something. I know I’ve said this before – Kim was pretty great when I met her – she was getting better and better.
So is it hard being without her this Valentines Day?
But not because it’s Valentines Day.
It’s hard because it’s Tuesday.
I miss her every Tuesday.
And Wednesday. And Thursday. And – well, you get it.
Anyway back to our neighbor.
Every year Susan and her son make hearts for Elena and hang them in trees at the end of our street in Elena and Jan’s garden.
This is the tenth year that they’ve done it.
Yes, Elena will be dead eleven years this coming week.
I woke up this morning and walked down the street and took pictures of the hearts.
This was the one part of being alone on Valentines Day that was really hard.
Kim and I always talked about these hearts and what a beautiful gift it is each year.
One year there won’t be hearts on the tree and that’s OK.
For ten years there’s been this wonderful tribute.
It’s a stunning display of unselfish love.
It demonstrates to everyone who drives by, the power of the love we express on Valentines Day.
It serves as an example of the gift of love we can give each other.
We can give this gift of love on Valentines Day.
And on Wednesday. And on Thursday. And on – well, you get it.