My granddaughter lives in St. Valentin, Austria. Every time I address a letter to her, I think of Feb. 14. I hope the city of 10,000 residents is a city of love and harmony.
I have fond memories of Valentine’s Day. I wrote a column several years ago about Feb. 14 and how I was envious of the girls in the college dorm I supervised. Many of the girls in the college complex received beautiful bouquets of red roses from their boyfriends (Cupid). I never got roses from anyone. Even when I was young, roses never appeared at my doorstep.
Guess what I have sitting on my kitchen table! A bouquet of a dozen red roses! My son and daughter-in-law dropped by for a surprise visit along with my grandson and his girlfriend. The flowers were wrapped in Valentine paper. As I unwrapped my special gift, I felt young again. I felt loved.
Do you remember all the shoeboxes you decorated in elementary school on that February day? I always gave my box an average grade. But some of the more artistic classmates went over the top. I was a little envious of them, too. I could never compete. I always ran out of lace, red crepe paper and patience.
And the chore of choosing who got what valentine was always a challenge. I think we became a little prejudiced when selecting those red and white cards. My best friends always were given the prettiest ones I could find. My least favorite classmates ended up with all the leftovers. Life just isn’t fair, especially on Valentine’s Day!
There have been many songs written about “love” that fit quite well into the Feb. 14 theme. One that pops into my mind is “Love Makes the World Go Round.” Then there is Elvis’s big hit, “Love Me Tender.” An another favorite, Whitney Houston’s “I’ll Always Love You.”
I think we need a Valentine Day in February. It helps us forget the cold and snow for a brief moment. It helps us forget the sad news stories we share. It brings warmth to our souls.
I was paging through my poetry book and found a poem I had written on Feb. 14, 1980. I titled it “Without Love, I Am Nothing.” Please share with me.
I went for a walk in the world
And confusion filled my mind.
For though my eyes were open,
My vision, it was blind.
I trusted those I should not trust.
I hugged the enemy.
My ego was my source of strength,
As I died inside of me.
My once so fine and fancy garb,
Turned into shabby clothes.
My prideful, kingly step
Into a beggar’s pose.
Every detour that I took
Lead to a dead end street.
Every fortune that I chose
Ended in defeat.
“Turn around,” He said to me
As I huddled there in fright.
“Come back home and live with me
And I’ll restore your sight.”
I was nothing, as He said.
Death had locked me in.
But love destroyed the enemy
And saved me from my sin.
Happy Valentine’s Day Everybody!
Jean Lemmon is a columnist for The Fergus Falls Daily Journal.