I believe in everlasting love.
There, I said it. And it's okay if you don't. Love is something that crosses all boundaries and shows no prejudice. I believe you love who love. Be it a sweetheart, a friend, an animal (a pet, you pervs!), your family, or whatever god you find comfort with inside your heart.
I believe when you truly love someone, you accept them for who they are and don't try to change them. You give yourself fully and (gulp!) love whether they return it or not. Because your heart just loves.
Despite being very sentimental about everlasting love, I'm actually not a girl who is big on celebrating Valentine's Day. My soulmate brings me flowers all year long. He always has a Three Musketeers bar hidden so that when I can't stand it anymore and "must!have!chocolate!" it's there for me. He takes the kids for me after he works a long, hard day so that I can go for a run or get some me time. He's a good father. A patient friend. So, I don't need anything special on Valentine's Day to feel that I am loved. I feel that all year long. And yes, I know that I'm a lucky girl.
This Valentine's Day for me is about celebrating different kinds of love and all of the unique ways it presents itself.
This morning, on his own with no prompting, my son got up early--full of excitement--and made his "Valentine" a special gift bag full of things he thought she would like: a Tinkerbell pin, stickers, a "wand", chocolates, a squishy ball with hearts on it, and a stuffed lion. During our normal breakfast routine we usually watch the sun come up together. This morning I said, "Oh, look at how pretty the sunrise is today." He didn't even turn to look. Instead, I got "Yeah, Yeah, Mom." I joked back with him, saying, "Yeah, Yeah, Mom? What's that!?" He said, seriously, "I'm sorry! But I'm just thinking about Jada! I really like her A LOT!" Sigh. My first taste of heart break as my six year old son pulls away and starts realizing the allure of another woman. His heart is full of love though, and I am just grateful that he was thinking of a way to make her feel special today.
I'm also full of love and gratitude for the community of writers, readers, and friends whom I've begun to really get to know on Twitter. I was determined to be a hold out and not dive in to the wonderful world of Twitterverse. But I'm so glad I tested its waters to find out what the appeal was. Leary at first, I slowly began making friends and acquaintances. What surprised me the most though is how deeply and sincerely friendships can form with people you've never even met. How those friendship lines can cross all boundaries (age, race, religion, gender, location, sexual orientation, professions) and perhaps that's what makes them even more special in my heart.
Many of you know my stance on equality and human rights. We may not all agree on the issue of same-sex marriage, and I'm not asking for you to or even trying to push my beliefs on anyone else. You have the right to believe what you believe.
But I do believe in the right for every person to marry the person they love. Whatever way that love manifests itself. I pray in my lifetime that same-sex marriage becomes legal across the nation, just as interracial marriage finally got its due. I want to see my brother walk down the aisle someday, with the man of his dreams. I want him to know the everlasting love that I have found, and to be able to celebrate it in front of his friends, family, and in the presence of God--who I truly believe is accepting of all forms of love and compassion.
One of my favorite quotes of all time is from the TV show Numbers. Agent Don Epps said: "Where ever God is, I'm pretty sure he's in how we're there for each other."
So I leave you with a request today: look for love all around you. See how it's present in the way we treat strangers. Find it on a walk. See love and joy through your children's eyes. Hug a friend. Send a happy note telling someone what they mean to you. Share a box of chocolates with your sweetheart. Love yourself fully, with no conditions.
Happy hearts and hugs day, my friends!