When I think about Valentine’s Day, which today is, I think about it in a commercialized sense. Although the holiday’s origin is related to two saints, I had to look that up on Wikipedia. I’m more familiar with the cards, boxes of heart shaped candy, special dinners, and even boxers with cupids and hearts that are sold in the name of love. But, what is love?
Yes, there is the romantic type of love that the ads depict for Valentine’s Day, but is that all there is? I don’t think so.
I think the concept of love is wider. Recently, I talked with a friend caring for her husband after a head injury. Because he is in a rehab center, she won’t be going to a special dinner, receiving a card, or smiling when her favorite flowers are delivered unless she does any of those things for herself. She will be running back and forth to the center, making sure he is comfortable and taken care of, encouraging him, and putting up with his complaints about whatever annoys him at that moment. That’s love.
When I look at my children and the time and care they are giving to their children whether reading stories every night, showing them how to skip a stone across water, pushing a swing for the millionth time, running behind a bicycle the first time training wheels come off, kissing a boo boo away, or simply listening to their tales of woe, I see love.
Some of my friends never married or had children, but they have pets who snuggle next to them, give happy licks, or wait patiently for attention. The relationships between these humans and their animals are another example of love.
My next Sarah Blair book, Five Belles Too Many, which won’t be out until June 25, but is available for pre-order, features five couples who are finalists to win a perfect Southern wedding. Each relationship is different in terms of motivation and interaction. For a chance (U.S. only) to win an ARC of Five Belles Too Many (which just arrived), leave a comment about how you define love or an example of how it has occurred in your life.
Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day!