The month of love has arrived! Every Feb. 14, couples celebrate Valentine’s Day by embracing their love for each other with candy, chocolates, and flowers. Every year, my wife is my Valentine. We were high school sweethearts and have been married for 46 years, and I love to show my admiration and appreciation for her by spoiling her on this day.
Valentine’s Day traces all the way back to the story of a cleric named Valentine. Many years ago, the Roman emperor Claudius ordered soldiers to fight rigorous battles for him. He believed that because married men showed allegiance to their families first, they weren’t the best soldiers, so he abolished marriage.
Behind Claudius’ back, Bishop Valentine was secretly performing the forbidden ceremony, all in the name of love. Once Claudius heard of this, he had Valentine arrested. While he was in jail pending execution, he fell in love with the jailer’s blind daughter and wrote her a letter and signed it, “From your valentine.”To this day, we send Valentines to each other. And don’t forget Cupid, the son of Venus, the god of love and beauty in Roman mythology. Cupid was notoriously known for shooting arrows at the gods and random humans. These arrows led them to fall in love with each other in an instant!
I recall as a kid being so excited about Valentine’s Day in school. The thrill of working hard to make cards for my classmates and friends was captivating. Handing them out was tons of fun, but it was even better getting them back from my friends. This was before cellphones and texting, and the thrill of actual cards, notes, and messages was second to none — not to mention the candy and goodies that came along with them!
Today, Valentine’s Day isn’t only for couples and lovers to express their love and exchange gifts, poems, love letters, and candy. It’s for everyone who makes our lives special. We all have someone who we care about and rely on. It’s about celebrating the beautiful relationships we have in our lives.
This Valentine’s Day, take the time to wish your family, friends, siblings, parents, coworkers, or anyone you consider to be special in your life a happy Valentine’s Day. We don’t take the time to appreciate each other often enough. Love is always worth celebrating, and although it has been slightly commercialized over the years, at its core, it’s all about celebrating the special connections in your life. Love inspires books and movies. It is the vision for many paintings and songs. Love creates and sustains families and encourages us all to be the best versions of ourselves.
Celebrate your loved ones this month — I know I’ll be creating special memories with mine! Happy Valentine’s Day!