Valentine’s Day 2/14/20

Thoughts by Richard Bleil

Yesterday was my puppy’s birthday. Well, she’s not with us anymore, and she certainly was an old girl by the time she passed, but she’ll always be a puppy in my heart. I’ll always love her, and she’ll always be my partner.

That’s really what today is supposed to be about. Yes, it’s a made-up holiday by the greeting card industry to try to get you to spend money in a month that otherwise has poor sales. But, what else would you be doing today?

I guess people who know me well might be expecting me to write about being lonely and respectful of people who are alone today, but those who know me even better than that realize that I’m also a hopeless romantic. Besides, I’m about a week ahead of my posts, so it’s not Valentine’s day as I write this, so I can be all romantical and shhhhhhhtuff because I’m not terribly blue, but trust me, you can expect a truly bitter and depressing post a week or two from now.

Not really.

Folks, love is more important than I can express. When I was living in Boston, I made homemade pizza for my “host family”, my family with whom I lived while in graduate school while watching their son every day when he came home from middle school. I made the comment that the secret ingredient is love, the response to which was, well, not good. But, it’s actually true.

No, there’s not “love” in a jar that you can sprinkle over the pizza to make it better, but, it’s because of my love for them that I took extra care to be sure that the dough had the right consistency and was rolled out just right, that the ingredients for the pizza were the best I could find, that the timing and temperature was exactly right so it would cook as perfectly as possible.

Love.

Love matters and can be present anywhere. And love can hurt. More than you can imagine.

It was love that made me put my dog down. She stopped eating and drinking, and I knew something was wrong. My heart was already damaged, and I was just home from the hospital after my heart attack, specifically because I was told that she was ill. I took her to the vet, and they informed me that her kidneys were failing. They went on to say that she’d have to stay there, but they could keep her alive a little while longer with aggressive medication. I asked how long she unwittingly became an enabler as she fell off the wagon and fell further into the bottle. In a way, my wife died before she actually walked out.

Your loved one will someday be gone, one way or the other. You have now. Today is all you have, and all you are guaranteed.

Someday, for some reason that cannot be predicted, your loved one will be gone. You can’t plan for it, and you certainly don’t want to dwell on it. There’s just nothing that can be done. If you dwell on this loss, though, you’ll miss out on what you have today.

So, focus on today. Focus on your love. Focus on that special someone who, without, your world would be darker and colder. If you forgot to plan for something; it’s not too late. And if you’ve already planned the perfect Valentine’s Day for that special someone, it’s not too late to do even more. Even if you’re reading this after Valentine’s Day, do something.

The spirit of Valentine’s Day is what matters. It’s the reminder that we should do something special today, and we should continue to treat each day with that special person as a gift. In fact, when we have a loved one in our life, every day is indeed a gift from the universe. Okay, I’m starting to sound like a Chinese proverb now; “yesterday is gone, tomorrow is not guaranteed, all we have is today which is why it’s called the ‘present’.” That’s okay, though, because it’s very true. And that present is especially sweet because of that one person in your life.

If I can be an example, that’s okay. I would love to have a special woman in my life. I lost my wife, my puppy, and my kitten. I have nobody left, but my heart is filled with the love I felt for all three of them (and, by my wife, I mean the woman I married, not the one who left me). Who fills your heart with love? How will you prove it?

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