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Valentine’s Day: A day for being remembered and remembering

Posted: February 14, 2013

Valentine’s Day has always been one of my favorite holidays.  When I was a young girl, my birthday was celebrated on Valentine’s Day.  Most years I didn’t have a “real” birthday because I was a leap year baby.  I loved having a party on Valentine’s Day.  There was a heart shaped cake, heart doilies, heart candy, and of course, a pretty red dress.  My memories of Valentine’s Day were joyful.  For some, however, Valentine’s Day is not a happy holiday.

In the Boston Globe some years ago, Krista Brumberg Stevens wrote a commentary on Valentine’s Day.  She said that the best Valentine’s Day gift she received wasn’t heart shaped, sweet, or red.  It was a quilt her mother made for her with symbols of their life together.

In Krista’s commentary she states that she is lucky to have her husband in her life.  She wonders if something happened to her special love, could she still find reason to celebrate a day of love.  She answers by saying that she wouldn’t hurry the day.  She would spend time with her friends.  She would wish her family a Happy Valentine’s Day.  She’d send cards to special people in her life.  Krista comments that we shouldn’t define this holiday as an event just for lovers and couples.  She thinks we should snub our noses at the commercialism that dictates romance, roses, wine, and chocolate, and rather remember Valentine’s Day for being remembered or remembering, that romantic love can be a factor, but not a requirement.  She says that the quilt her mother sewed for her was a token of her great love and was given as a gesture of affection. 

I like this article about Valentine’s Day by Ms. Stevens.  Her comment about the day being a day for being remembered or remembering is central to what I believe the holiday should be about.  At Coleman House, we always have a party on Valentine’s Day, complete with decorations, sweet desserts, and music.  Many tenants wear red or pink outfits, with special heart shaped jewelry.  We make it a day to share friendships. We make the day festive and inclusive.

My memories of Valentine birthday parties are much better than candy and flowers.  This year I will be in California with my grandson on Valentine’s Day.  I’m already planning on taking a hike with Ezra, creating some Valentine decorations, and making special cookies.  Candy and flowers aren’t necessary.  Two year old talk will be welcome.  Memories will be precious.

Elizabeth Reiss, Resident Service Coordinator
February 14, 2013

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