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  • Writer's pictureSarajane McCarthy

Let’s celebrate love

Happy St Valentines Day! Possibly my favourite celebration of the year! Love, love and more love!! But I didn’t always love Valentine’s Day. Now, don’t get me wrong, I got at least one card every year, some in the post, some mysteriously left on the doorstep and even some via my secondary school office! All from “mysterious” and “secret” admirers. Usually in rhyme. And coincidentally all in the same hand writing! (Love you Dad x)

There were the valentines days however, when no “last rolo” was delivered to me, when fourth year Cupid’s brought red roses to all my friends, except me. There was the Valentine’s Day someone wrote me a song, the Valentine’s Day I kissed the boy of my dreams and the Valentine’s Day I wasn’t with the one I loved!

But little did I know back then, that I had it all wrong!! Yes, st valentine was an old romantic and a bit of a rebel, but the first note signed “Your Valentine” was not sent to a lover or secret crush but to a judges daughter, the very judge who condemned st valentine to death! The caring blind young girl had befriended valentine during his time on death row, so to speak. Even thought she was the child of the man who had ordered his execution, valentine used his final few days to pray for a miracle, not for himself, but for this little blind girl. And his prayers were answered. The young girl pleaded for her father to spare valentine but to no avail. So on the night before his execution valentine wrote his young friend a letter, saying she had nothing to feel guilty about and signed it Your Valentine!

Now somehow over the years this story has been retold in such a way that furry handcuffs and sexy shot glasses are seen as essentials to celebrate this day properly!!

Now I’m not saying st Valentine’s Day isn’t about romantic love at all. Myself and my husband have celebrated the day in fancy hotels, crowded restaurants and even in a hot tub in our gym! People may give out about “over priced” menus or being “rushed out”, but we have never failed to have a day and night filled with romance and roses!!

However, my real love for this day began the minute I became a mom. This was a whole new type of love! Super crazy, overwhelming, unbelievable love! Over the years we have decorated a Love tree, had Love parties and Love picnics and that’s only the half of it! This will be my tenth valentines as a mom and, right now, my breakfast table is covered in rose petals and heart shaped placemats, ear muffs, teddies and sweets adorned with love hearts, heart shaped pancakes and heart shaped chocolates! And, in each place, a card for each of my three mini valentines, not from a secret admirer, but from Mama and Dada!

St Valentine was all about LOVE!! All types of love. Big love, forbidden love, unrequited love, family love, compassionate love, forgiving love, miraculous love, a love of humanity, a love of life!!

So today I encourage you to fill your day with LOVE!! Send a text to a friend. Wish a stranger a happy st Valentine’s Day! Eat food you love! Listen to music you love! Spend time doing what you love, with people you love, in places you love! Go out and love nature, show your pet how much they’re loved. Buy a cheap bunch of last minute roses at the petrol station and give them out to random strangers!! Celebrate love in all its wonderful forms!

I’ll leave you with a short story. This day last year I drove up to my grans grave to place a rose there and say hi, love you, miss you! My grans mother’s family name was valentine so it was always so special to her. Anyway as I was driving back down I saw a dapper gentleman, in his late 70’s I’d say, walking toward a grave, holding a huge bunch of red roses. My heart sank as I imagined what he was doing. Just then my inner st valentine kicked in. I reversed the car back up, hopped out, ran up to him and said “I just wanted to give you a hug and say happy Valentine’s Day.” He smiled and nodded to the grave in front of him, “we would have been 54 years married today”. He squeezed my hand and gave me another hug “she sent you here to hug me today”. Well as you can imagine I bawled my entire way back to the car and all the way home! Once I composed myself I was able to step back and realise “that was love”, romantic love, family love, random acts of love and most of all the love that connects us all, the love of humanity.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I invite you to place your hand on your heart and say

“may I be well,

may I be happy,

may I be loved,

may I love”.

Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤

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