Celebration of Love

The following blog was written by author Aimee Eddy Gross who is a team leader for the CYL National Movement. This blog is unedited. To contact the author, please email Aimee at aimeeegross@gmail.com.

Many think Valentine’s Day is just another commercial holiday for stores to make money. Others think of it as a romantic holiday when their special love spoils him or her with gifts and treats them to a romantic night out. Romance is in the air on Valentine’s Day. It could be the day you find out you have a secret admirer or the day your true love proposes. There is more to this special day than romance. It’s a day to celebrate love of all kinds, not just the love of couples.

When I was in high school roses were sold to the students and the students had them delivered to someone special. I felt alone and unloved as my classmates received roses and I didn’t. The boys picked on me and all I wanted was just one to like me. I day dreamed of the perfect guy to sweep me off my feet. In my school years it was only a dream. I never dated because to the boys I was gross and stupid. I started to hate Valentine’s Day. I dreaded it.

One year my cousin bought me a rose just because he cared. I was disappointed it was my cousin, and not a secret admirer. What I didn’t see back then was that my cousin was showing me love. Not the love of a boy and a girl, but the love of cousins. He loved me enough to send me a rose so I wouldn’t be the only girl who didn’t get one.

In my adult years I had different boyfriends buy me gifts for this special day. One boyfriend bought me a balloon and a teddy bear, and told me how much he spent. I was informed since he spent so much money on me I was to take very good care of my gifts. After we broke up I burned the balloon and I put holes in the bear. Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a day you give from your heart not a day that you worry about how much you spend.

I spent many years hating this holiday. I was either alone or the guy’s attempts to spoil me only made me feel bad. I wanted a man who didn’t buy me expensive gifts to show his love, but a man who bared his heart to me, a guy who showed me love with the small things he did. For the longest time I didn’t think a guy like that existed.

When I was around my thirties I met my husband Lou. He stole my heart right away. He opened doors for me, told me each day how beautiful I was, and he spoiled me with love. On our first date he made a promise to treat me like a lady, to respect me, never hurt me, and show me each day how much he loves me. Almost 14 years later and nearly 13 years of marriage he keeps his promise. He is the love of my life and he showed me what Valentine’s Day really was.

He showed me that Valentine’s Day is not just a day to be romantic, but a day to celebrate love of all kinds. He spoils me with love each and every day, but Valentine’s Day is a day we can celebrate the importance of being loved and to love others. Every February fourteenth we talk about how fate brought us together and we celebrate the love that we share. We also make sure we tell our family members and friends how much we love them. We celebrate all the love in our lives that made us the people we are today.

We can tell people anytime how much we love them. We don’t need money to show someone our love. Many say we don’t need Valentine’s Day to go out of our way to show love. They are right. We don’t need Valentine’s Day to buy expensive gifts and plan luxurious dates. We need Valentine’s Day to remind us how important love is. It is love of parents, grandparents, or a guardian that make you into the person you are today. It’s the love of family and friends that get you through life’s hurdles. It’s love of strangers that offer a helping hand that picks us up when we are down. Love is all around us and it is what helps mold us. That is what is worth celebrating.

If you’re alone this Valentine’s then spend it celebrating all the people who have loved you in your life, and all the people you love. You don’t need a special somebody to celebrate. Just look around at the people in your life who hold you up, who build you up, and who stand at your side. Celebrate them with a hug, a card, by saying, “I love you,” and much more. You don’t need roses, candy, and a dinner out to celebrate love.

Happy Valentine’s Day to the couples, to the admirers, and to all who give love.

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