That's right, folks.
I have been converted to the holiday of Valentine's Day. I have learned to now appreciate it for exactly what it is.
I have discovered this strange holiday is much more than a celebration for couples. It is a celebration of this little thing called
It is a celebration of that word that is so powerful that we, as the human race, don't even fully understand it. Yet we still feel it. It is universal. It is in all cultures. It is the ultimate secret to finding happiness. It is the thing we all yearn to give and also receive.
It is almost godlike, really. To love. It is the thing that drives us to be something beyond just one person living within our own selfish life, and care about the person next to us instead.
I think I love it.
I understand that Valentine's Day can really, well, suck for single people. In high school, most of my Valentine's Days were spent at state basketball. So they weren't even celebrated.
One year, I gave my friends and teammates a VDay gift. It was a "Grow Your Own Boyfriend" since we were all single at the time. We tested one of the boyfriends out by putting him in the sink full with water overnight. It was a little, flimsy, red man. In the morning. . .he wasn't so little. He had expanded and was taking up most of the sink. So we turned him over to the bathtub. Much more room to grow. He got pretty huge and it was also pretty disgusting. We got a good laugh out of it though.
The next year at state basketball, I remember waking up early to catch the bus. The booster club always had snacks and money for us that were passed around the bus right before we departed for Boise. Along with my things from the booster club, I also got a gigantic heart. "What is this," I wondered. As I looked closer, I saw that this giant Valentine heart was from my family. Each of them had signed it, saying things like they loved me, Happy Valentine's Day, good luck at state, we'll be cheering you on. Even Chloe signed it. At the time, all she could write was her name. Along with those creepy people that little kids first learn to draw. Ya know, the ones with the circle head and they just have arms and legs growing right out of their head?
I think that was one of the first times the significance of Valentine's Day really hit me. I felt myself smiling as I carefully held my heart. Then I almost got emotional and wanted to cry. My family loved me. I really felt it. Even Jace loved me, although he hated to admit it.
And I loved them. I felt myself loving them and being grateful for special moments with them.
For parents that believe in me and always support me.
For a brother that is one of my best friends. Who I can quote dumb things with and laugh, or have deep, private talks with as well.
For two younger sisters, and the almost motherly instincts I have for them. For learning how to do hair while experimenting on their little, blonde heads. For the times they walked into my room in the middle of the night, asking if they could sleep with me. For the way they make me want to be better so they can have a decent example to follow.
This was my first real experience of Valentine's Day.
Yesterday, my day was stringed with experiences such as this one.
Although the flowers, candy, and "Grow Your Own Boyfriends" are fun, that's not what the holiday is about. That's why I have always had an issue with it. I always thought it was just an excuse to spend money. However, it is about other things.
It's about getting on facebook to see that my mom has changed her profile picture to one from her wedding. To see a twenty-year-old version of herself (same age as me) kissing my dad, who was just a boy at the time. Looking at that picture, and thinking about how these two kids learned to love and raise a family, which I was blessed to be a part of.
It's getting a text from my good friend, and realizing even though there is distance and I don't see her everyday, we are still just as close as ever.
It's about seeing a boy nervously walk up to an apartment door of some lucky girl, fidgeting with a big bouquet of roses.
It's having a mom give me a Valentine at work and thanking me for being so nice to her son.
It's about having a talk with my close friend, and being excited for her as I watch her find happiness.
It's seeing trucks with messages on the windows that say, "I love you, babe!"
It's about running to answer my door when I hear a knock, because I can't wait to see Brian.
It's when Brian pulls a gorgeous necklace from his pocket to put on my neck, and tells me it belonged to his grandmother. Then seeing the way he looks at me, and knowing he cares about me. Then seeing the way he looks at the necklace, and knowing he loves and misses his grandma.
It's about that friend that stays up late showing me how to do stats. Not just because I asked, but because he sincerely wants me to get a good grade on my test the next day.
It's at the end of the day, kneeling at my bed, trying to find the words to tell God thank you for all the love I feel each and every day in my life, and not being able to put that thanks into words.
And knowing that even though my prayer was mostly just crying and smiling, He still loves me too. If He didn't, He wouldn't give us the ability and power to love.
I love Valentine's Day. There. I thought the day I admitted that would never come.
And yes, I made Brian arrows. It's like second grade craft day all over again.