Another Valentine’s Day has come, and has almost gone. We unattached folk often refer to it as Single Awareness Day. (Or Happy 50% Chocolate Tomorrow Day).
It is true – I’ve had more Single Awareness Days as an adult than I have had as someone’s Valentine. I had pretty much gotten used to it, and learned to enjoy making it a special day for my daughter, and later my grandchildren. Then along came my Prince. Our first Valentine’s day was so much fun! When I opened the card from him I almost burst with excitement, and started laughing. When he asked me what was so funny, I told him to open his card. We had gotten each other the exact same card!! We were married a few months later and I felt like the luckiest girl on the planet. Y’all know the story, so I won’t revisit that. Except to say the following Valentine’s day found me terribly upset, and ready to forget the whole thing. I had not bought a card, and had no intention of even acknowledging the day (nor had he, before leaving for work that morning.) Around 3:00 that afternoon, my stepson asked me what was wrong, and I burst into tears and had a very long heart-to-heart with him, bearing my soul about a deep concern. By some miracle, he was able to convince me that my fears were unfounded, and my concern unnecessary. At the last minute I ran out to The Prince’s favorite restaurant for his favorite takeout meal, set a special table with flowers and heart confetti, lit some candles, put some nice music on the stereo, and dimmed the lights for a nice romantic dinner. A quick shower before he got home from work and I was ready for the evening.
Several weeks later, there was a very unpleasant event, and the fear returned in full force. A few short months later, I was devastated to learn that my concerns did indeed have merit, and my marriage was over. My Prince turned into a Toad.
Is it easy to endure Single Awareness Day? For sure, it’s the butt of a lot of jokes, and brings to memory happier times now lost that can make me sad, but like every other difficulty in life, it seems to get more bearable each time it comes around. The first one was kind of like ripping open an old wound, but with each passing year, the scar is a little lighter, and the wound not as visible.
Because I work at home, I’ve become somewhat of a self-imposed recluse… and I rather like it. I haven’t totally lost my social graces, and do enjoy being around others, but at times I have to almost force myself to leave the house (which means getting out of my pajamas and wearing shoes). I know I’ll enjoy the outing once I get there, but making the effort to be sociable is sometimes a bit much.
Since the early 90s, I have been a wall builder. I have many friends and acquaintances. I’m totally blessed
There was a time in my life when a bad decision led to my being disloyal to people I loved. My biggest mistake, and my greatest regret ever. That’s not who I am. A price was paid by many, and I still pay it every day. For me to say lack of integrity, dishonesty, and disloyalty is something I abhor and cannot tolerate might seem difficult to understand for those whom I have hurt. Perhaps it is a result of my own indiscretion that I now find it so appalling. And when I see it in others, it reminds me of what I inflicted on loved ones during a very dark time in my life.
Grace, mercy, and forgiveness are amazing. I have both received them, and I have given them. I am especially grateful that my heart is not bitter, and I am not a grudge-bearer to those who have hurt me. I am grateful, as well, that the hearts I destroyed hold no bitterness toward me. Well worth the time it took to get to this place.
Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting. If I punch you in the face and give you a black eye, you may forgive me. But you’ll remember it every time you look in the mirror for a few days. And the next time we’re together, if I raise my arm to swat a fly, you’re probably gonna duck. Because you won’t forget that time I slugged you. And you’re gonna protect yourself from me doing it again. Same with me. There are those whose betrayal cut me like a knife. Friends, co-workers, relationships. I forgave, but will protect myself from it happening again.
Hence the walls around my heart. It’s safe in my innermost sanctum, and if someone isn’t there already,
No wonder the shape of a heart is the symbol for Valentine’s Day. It is from our hearts that we love. And it is in our hearts that we who are sad, feel the loneliness the most.
For the last three V-Days, DJ has made sure that I am remembered and made to feel special. Cards and meaningful gifts that make me feel appreciated and loved, and less inclined to be SAD (on Singles Awareness Day -SAD-, get it? Ha!) The sweetest card ever, and Reece’s (my fave) hearts made my day extra special today, as well as sharing a couple of pots of coffee on this chilly morning. J Love you, DJ!!!!
I recently made a new friend, who has already become an amazing source of encouragement, especially with regard to finishing the book I started several years ago. There are those people born with the gift of exhortation, and Mimi exudes it beautifully with kind words, thoughtful gestures, and a call to action. What a surprise to find in the mail this week a Valentine’s card and a beautiful angel who now watches over me from atop my desk. Thank you, Mimi, for thinking of me. You only recently heard my story, because you asked me about my dreams, what makes me tick, and what events brought me to where I am today. And it was so kind of you to remember me in this way. That I was so compelled to share my story with you, a person “outside” my walls, speaks to your gift of connecting with people.
Leyliebug brought me a handmade card that she made while spending the day here yesterday. Whitney, Dustin, and the children are the brightest spot of each day, and I treasure the sweet things that Mary, Leyland, and Corey say and do for their Greemaw – who loves them so very much. My life is richly blessed.
Single Awareness Day will always be a glaring reality every time cupid starts floating around with that stupid bow and arrow. But I know that with the passage of even more time, it can again become a source of happiness, and an opportunity to do for others. I remember before The Prince (aka The Toad) came along, I once sent a Valentine’s card to all the widowed ladies in my church. I was astounded at their response. In the end, I don’t know who was more blessed – the wonderful ladies, or myself – because of the joy it brought me to see them so excited. It’s really true – doing for other people helps you take your eyes off yourself, and focus on their needs rather than your own.
Only an hour or so left of SAD 2015. We've made it through another one! While I’m sure I’ll never take offmy arrow-proof vest, and will hide from Cupid at all costs, I’m thinking that in the future, my energy will be better spent in making sure other lonely hearts are made to feel as blessed as I have been made to feel today.
If you have a special someone to love, I hope you were able to enjoy some sweet time today, and show special appreciation. I challenge you to make every day Valentine’s Day, and make sure a day doesn’t pass without your partner knowing how much he or she is loved by you. Never make them question. Show them every day.
If you didn’t have that special person with whom to celebrate the day, I’m sending a special hug your way. Though it is a rather silly, overly-commercialized holiday, I understand and have experienced the emotions it can invoke for those who are lonely. But it’s almost over! No more cupid crap til next year! Tomorrow is a new day!!
And Glen Burns says it’s gonna snow in Georgia! So go out tomorrow, buy your milk and bread, and pick up a few bags of chocolate at 50% off!