Feb. 14, 2019

Happy Valentine's Day!

“All you need is love.  But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” Charles M. Schulz

“Oh, if it be to choose and call thee mine, love, thou art every day my Valentine.” Thomas Hood

Today is Valentine’s Day and, hopefully, there’s a sweet card for and from someone special happening in your life, or maybe some flowers or even a dinner where you can hold hands and talk about your life together; and maybe there could be chocolate and champagne. I have found that champagne enhances almost any occasion and if you throw in a little chocolate, i.e., a hot fudge sundae, the occasion becomes even better. Just a little chocolate, friends and neighbors, not the ten pound box of See’s or one of those huge red heart things. 

Just to help you get into a romantic mindset, I’m going to ask you a serious and important question: When was the last time you read Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s famous love poem? Probably not since you were in high school. Well, here it is and it’s pretty nice:

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.”

“One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.” Paulo Coelho

“Love grows more tremendously full, swift, poignant, as the years multiply.” Zane Grey

My Valentine, the adorable, ever-patient, John, is now residing in heaven where every day is Valentine’s Day, and love abounds all over the place. I never quoted Elizabeth Barrett Browning to him, but I wrote about our love and our life together. “The Best of Marriage.”

“I sit at your desk and look out your window at the sky.

And I think of you and how much I love you.

So many years we’ve spent together, mostly sunny with just a little bit of rain.

I treasure these years which have flown by us.

I’ve grown to love you, respect you, admire you, need you more with each one.

There is so much about you that makes me want to be the best that I can be.

It makes me smile each time you walk into a room.

How many thousands of times have I watched you enter the space where I am,

And each time I feel pleasure, delight, at just the sight of you.

You make me laugh, you make me think.

You make me challenge myself, you make me want to be the best me I can be.

You’ve even taught me to enjoy college football... Go Trojans!

I love just to talk with you, to exchange the ordinary stuff our days are made of,

Conversations that are the flour and salt of life.

You are ever in my mind. 

You are the other half of my heart.

You are, very simply, the one person selected by God to be my lover, my friend, my husband.

I have known you for more than half my life.  The best half.

We have shared all there is in life:

Joy, sorrow, laughter, tears, death, birth, pleasure, misery, poverty, not quite so poverty,

Pride in our children, and absolute disgust with them,

And always, always we have had each other to hold on to.”

Sometime today, if you haven’t already done it, tell your special Valentine how much he or she means to you. Kisses and holding hands are good, too…maybe even better than chocolate. And don’t forget that part where you say, “I love you!”

I am grateful, too, that we have Another who loves us and will never leave us: Jesus, Lover of my soul.

“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.....We love because he first loved us.” John 4:15, 19