Who says that Valentine’s Day is all about getting? If you really want to feel loved on February 14, try giving it away.
A few years ago I was Little Miss Lonely Hearts, living in a city where men drove pick-up trucks with gun racks. The trees were bare, wind howled, snow fell and the dreaded V Day was approaching. I knew I had to do something drastic to get myself through it.
I slipped and slid on mountain roads to the nearest Ingles (California’s Safeway), bought 10 boxes of cake mix, frosting and some of my favorite candy hearts. Do you remember them…the ones with the messages that you carefully selected to give to those cute little boys in your class that you “loved”?
I baked all day and half the night and had 240 cupcakes with those messages of love on top. On Valentine’s Day, I took to the streets where I knew the homeless hung out during the day when the shelters were closed. I found them huddled near buildings, under blankets…women with small children and men whose lifetime of struggle could only be made better by a swig of cheap wine in a crumpled brown paper bag.
The look on their faces was all I needed that Valentine’s Day to help my pathetic self remember what love is all about. Faces of children who didn’t even know what day it was suddenly remembered. Old men who were once in elementary school laughed when they read the messages on those candy Valentines. And they all were the embodiment of grace.
This year if you are without a date or a partner on Valentine’s Day, try giving your love away to those who need it most. Take some cupcakes or those sweet little Valentine candies down to the Salvation Army or a local shelter. If you feel the love for animals, take some toys or doggie treats to your local SPCA. Share the love!