Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours!  I hope this day was one of love and hope.  I don't care if you are married, engaged, single, a Mom, a Dad, a grandparent, a favorite aunt or uncle, a confirmed bachelor/bachelorette, a crazy cat lady, whatever.  Whatever your situation in life, I hope you found love and joy and hope and happiness today.

Personally, I am not a fan of Valentine's Day.  I think it's an overpriced marketing ploy, and I think if someone shows you love all 365 (or 366 as in this year) days of the year, that is a lot more important that showing love with roses and candy and jewelry on one day of the year.  A lot of the time, if a man does not get his woman the right Valentine, or send flowers, or be all romantic, she gets mad and then a fight ensues.  Or, if someone is alone on Valentine's Day, often he/she gets all depressed because he/she is reminded of being all alone.  There are so many other important things in life, and if you can find love with your friends, family, kids, whomever, be content.  Some of us are just not meant to find a partner.  I've stopped looking.  I find my love with my kids, friends, family, and my kitty.  No, I am not a crazy cat lady, she says as she coughs up a hair ball.

So, for all the lovers out there, if you didn't get the perfect Valentine but he/she remembers you on other days of the year, be thankful.  And for those of us who are single, hope you had a fabulous day finding love in places you least expected it! 

Just think.... tomorrow all that candy will be ON SALE!

What is Valentine's Day anyway?  Does anyone know how it started? 

Valentine is a saint in the Roman Catholic religion.  So, if you like Valentine's Day, thank a Catholic!  If you don't, you can add this to the long list of things we Catholics get blamed for. 

There are a couple possible martyrs who might be the original St. Valentine after whom this day is named.  One defied Emperor Claudius II and performed marriage ceremonies for young soldiers.  Claudius had forbidden young men to marry, because he thought single men made better soldiers.  Valentine was ordered to be executed for his defiance.  Other stories suggest that Valentine was executed when he helped Christians escape Roman prisons.  While imprisoned prior to his execution, Valentine sent a love letter to his jailer's daughter and signed it "from your Valentine."

Some believe that Valentine's Day coincides with his birth or death, but others believe that it was selected as his feast day to Christianize the pagan festival celebrating fertility.  That festival is called Lupercalia and is in honor of Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture.  It is also in honor of the two founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus.   No, not the two little creepy dudes from the Hercules movie.  Eventually, Lupercalia was outlawed, but Valentine's Day was still not associated with love as it is today.

During the middle ages, people in England and France believed that the middle of February was the beginning of birds' mating season.  Valentine's greetings started around that time, and the oldest known Valentine still in existence today is reported to have been from 1415.  It was written by Charles, the Duke of Orleans.  He wrote it to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. 

Today, Valentine's Day is celebrated in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia.  Originally, lovers exchanged small tokens of affection.  In England, in the 1900s, written letters fell out of popularity and were replaced by printed cards.  In the US, mass produced Valentine's started around 1840 when Esther A. Howland, known as the Mother of the Valentine, started selling her cards.  Personally, I think a written letter would be so much nicer. 

It is estimated that Valentine's Day is the second most popular holiday for cards.  2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas, and 1 billion are sent for Valentine's Day.

There is a little history lesson on Valentine's Day.  How did you spend your Valentine's Day?  Was it all you hoped it would be?  If not, if your Valentine is wonderful on the other 364 days of the year, give the guy a break.  If he promised you a great Valentine's Day and failed, then go ahead and beat him.  I'll loan you the Derek's beater.

Speaking of Derek, he is a little romantic.  When he was a child, he told me he would give his girlfriend a wooden rose, because then it would never die.  He greeted me this morning with a big, "Happy Valentine's Day, Mom!"  And he bought Krystina a pretty pair of earrings from the Zales website. 

Yesterday, I got together with Jessica, Laura, Heather, RoseMarie, Eliza, Margaret, Jessica's two little cuties, and a couple of others to put together Valentine's Day baskets.  The items were donated by the Yellow Ribbon Fund, Operation Ward 57, the Aleethia Foundation, the Beehive (a group of ladies, one of which is a friend of mine on facebook) and other individuals who wanted to send donations.  We received candy, toiletries, stuffed animals, drink mixes, travel sewing kits, and a bunch more! 

We set up a little assembly line and put together dozens of baskets, wrapped them in cellophane, and tied pretty little ribbons on them.

Today, I went downstairs and helped get the baskets loaded up onto carts, and then we delivered them.  The purpose was to give a basket to the wounded warrior so that he could give it to his caregiver.  Since the guys are unable to get to the stores themselves, this allowed them to have something nice for that special Mom, wife, girlfriend, fiancee, whomever was there by his side. 

We had a good time passing out the baskets, and the guys we spoke with were very grateful.  Two were left in Derek's room so he could give them to Krystina and me.  He was at the Matc at the time, so we left them in the room.  We left a basket in each room where the wounded warrior was not in at the time we visited.  We had a list from our wonderful escort, Chris, who told us whether to leave one or two, depending on who was with the wounded warrior.  Since there aren't as many wounded warriors on the floor now, they went to Bldg 62 and passed them out, too.

After the baskets, I headed down to the Matc to watch Derek kick some butt working out.  He really has improved a lot.  He is getting off the IV pain meds, and we should be outpatient within a few weeks.

When we returned, Derek handed me my basket and said, "Here's the basket you made and gave to me to give to you, Mom."

The rest of the day was spent relaxing, until it came time to order dinner.  Krystina placed the order at 1600 (4 pm), and after several calls and being told they were "running behind," a nice lady brought Derek a tray.  It wasn't what he ordered, but it was food.  The problem?  It was delivered at 2000 (8 pm), four hours after we placed the order.  We were not told they were running late when the order was placed, and when Krystina followed up and called at 1700 (5 pm), she was told it was on the way.  It wasn't.  I called at 1800 (6 pm), and I was told to be patient.  We bought Derek dinner at the Wedge, because it was getting ridiculous.  Unfortunately, he is not the only patient who went without his dinner because of whatever happened in the kitchen.  I will be following up on this tomorrow.

Anyway, hope you had a wonderful day, and that every day is filled with love, hope, peace, and all the blessings you deserve.

We are making our climb to glory.  Hope you, too, climb to glory.  To the top.  All the way.  I'll meet you there with a box of those yummy Valentine conversation hearts!


  1. The greatest comfort we can ever have is knowing that the Holy Spirit Himself is praying!
    Romans 8:26-28 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
    Prayer Bears
    My email address

  2. Yes, my husband also believes that Valentine's Day is a conspiracy perpetuated by greeting card companies, florists and candy makers, but that's okay with me. My daughter and I went into Kroger after school on V-Day and chuckled at the long line of MEN buying Valentine's gifts. I explained to her that some men actually "get in trouble" if they don't bring a gift home on Valentine's Day. Silly, right?!

    I loved Derek's quote, "Here's the basket you made and gave to me to give to you, Mom." Isn't that how it always is though for us moms?! I laughed out loud when I read that.

    Thanks for the history lesson, too. I always love to learn the origins of things we just take for granted and don't ever question. Very interesting information.

  3. Still praying hard in Seattle!
    Psalms 31:1-3 In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness. Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me. For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me.
    Prayer Bears
    My email address

  4. Praying!
    Psalms 31:5, 7-8 Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth (7-8) I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities; And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room.
    Prayer Bears
    My email address