When I was a kid, Valentine's Day was one of my favorite holidays. I loved picking out my box of Valentines at the dime store. I remember the angst I felt deciding which card to give my best friend, which to give the mean kid (if any), and which to give the cutest boy in the class. I loved bringing my stash home, opening each little envelope and trying to decide what it all meant.
I got a big taste of reality when I was in the fifth grade. I returned home after a fun-filled school day to find a strange man sitting in our living room. He handed me a heart-shaped box of chocolates, and then listened with tears in his eyes as my mom explained he had run over my cat.
That's the thing about Valentine's Day. It offers such highs and lows.
Two years ago I was walking on clouds. I was in love and the object of my affection was a go-big-or-go-home kind of guy. The bouquet of flowers I received was glorious; their scent, intoxicating. The guys in the office were complaining he was making everybody else look bad.
Last year I was still in love. But instead of walking on clouds, I was nursing a broken heart. And trying, once again, to figure out what it all meant.
You can imagine my surprise when a delivery person showed up at my office door with a huge bouquet of flowers. I knew it had to be a mistake, but my name was on the card. Mine. There was no mistake.
I soon discovered that some amazing friends and family members had gone in together to send me the lovely bouquet. They knew the day would be especially hard and they wanted me to know how much I am loved. A small bouquet wouldn't do, they wanted to make sure I understood theirs was a go-big-or-go-home kind of love.
That kind of love sustains. And mends.
This year I'm not wondering what it all means. I know.
Happy Valentine's Day.