“To write a good love letter, you ought to begin without knowing what you mean to say, and to finish without knowing what you have written.” ~Jean-Jacques Rousseau
I saw the fear in his eyes as I issued the words. No, it wasn’t the “challenge” – being an analytical thinker & a gamer, he loves puzzles- but the words which followed as I expressed, “Write me a letter for Valentine’s Day. From the heart.”
A few weeks ago, as Walton Boy and I were shopping, we watched shelves in stores begin to burst at the seams with cherry red hearts, cotton candy pink frothy cards, and flowery cursive expressions cascading off chocolate hearts and gummy cupids as they spilled over the shelves. Yes, Valentine’s Day. I knew then as his grip tightened over my hand the stress of expectation had begun. Now, understand we have already survived birthdays, the holidays, and the occasional “just because I love you” moments and succeeded with flying colors. However, I just had a feeling he would dread this more than a root canal. So, without hesitation, I turned to him and said, “I know what I want to do for Valentine’s Day. Forget cards, gifts, flowers, and meals by candlelight. Simply, I want us to write each other a letter, from the heart, as a special gift for the holiday.” I know he was pretty skeptical, he even asked about it one night when we were doing dishes, but I remained firm and reissued my request, “A letter from the heart. Nothing more, nothing less.”
In our life, love enters our world daily. His job as a musician is based partially on other’s love as he plays at weddings, dances, and even tonight, at a Valentine’s Dinner/Dance Event And, as I “save the world” daily, as he puts it, I open my heart to making a difference in the lives of students, organizations and sometimes the world. But this is a challenge for us to take time to really say it.
You may be thinking (and I suspect he did too) easy thing for her…She writes all the time, she was an English major, she is a girl and it will just come natural.
Not exactly, dear reader. In fact, during those weeks, I started and re-started several drafts and they just didn’t come out right. Sometimes it seemed too corny, sometimes too serious, sometimes just too stupid. Even now as I sit and look at the final copy sealed next to me on the desk, I wonder if it really is good enough. In the words of Alanis Morissette, Isn’t it Ironic?
However, after multiple drafts, I thought back to my initial decree. Write a letter. From the heart. Simple. So, I wrote from the heart why I love him.
Why I know in my heart, he has been the best gift I ever could have prayed for, wished for, or dreamed about in my imaginary fairy tale or reality. Why in a universe of a million stars, we managed to find each other and shine brighter together then we ever could have alone in this world. Why I know it was worth waiting and surviving other loves (and loss), when his love was eventually the one which exceeded all expectation in my life….and there is more. However, that is between the two of us, because not everything should be shared.
Today, in a world of technology, thousands of texts, posts, blogs, tweets, and emails will be sent across the wire (and wirelessly) expressing love, passion and the occasional realization of disgust over a holiday that gives more couples, singles, and those who witness it heartburn. But hopefully many of you will stop and realize the greatest gift today is what is burning from the heart.
Remember, it isn’t about the romance or expectation of commercialism, but more the gratitude, appreciation, and devotion you feel for your significant other, spouse, partner, child, parent, friend, or even your pet!
So there remains The Challenge. The Letter. The chance to give a gift of love. Simple. Pick up your pen, and make the decision.
Happy Valentine’s Day. Make it divalicious…