Posts Tagged: love

Valentine’s Day Reconsidered

February 14, 2014

Here is an article I wrote for the Asheville Citizen-Times on Valentine’s Day 2011.It’s one of my favorites! I hope you enjoy and decide to write your own version of the day!

For years, Valentine’s Day was a day of over the top expectations and inevitable let downs for me. Days that I anticipated with hopeful expectation, whether I had a love interest in my life or not, and then suffering through the crash. High school years with other girl’s arms full of flowers sent by ardent admirers, I imagined, compliments of the Key Club school fundraiser. It was during those years, frustrated and fed-up, that I came upon the idea of how to rework the day and remove the sting. No one said it had to be about romantic love, so why not expand my vision to include love of all kinds in my life.

My girlfriends and I conspired over lunch one day, nibbling at chips and sipping on diet sodas. The idea was revolutionary! Why sit around and wait for someone to buy us flowers when we could buy them for each other! It seemed amazing that we had not landed on this before and the tradition of buying flowers for each other began and continued for the rest of our teenage years. Now we too walked the halls of our high school with our arms full of flowers, how would anyone know they were not from romantic interests? We were not left out anymore and the secret was ours!

As the years went by, I’ve often used the day as a good reason to spread love to all my nearest and dearest….girlfriends alone, fresh out of relationships, family, and eventually my daughters. As they have grown into teenagers, I’ve delighted in sharing with them the day is about love, in all its forms and manifestations. My favorite year was when my teenage daughter brought home 7 girlfriends, all of whom were not in a relationship and deeply bummed about that fact. I treated them to a lavish dinner of chicken parmesan, pasta loaded with cheese, and a decadent dessert. As dessert was served, we raised our glasses of ginger ale and I led a toast. This was my opportunity to impress upon them that men would come and go throughout their lives but girlfriends were forever. I went on to encourage them to always embrace the love of the day, whether romantically involved or not because love is everywhere. To my heart’s delight they all cheered.


There are those whose callused hearts make fun of the day and want to rebel the marketing sensation. Who can blame them when our society drives us to spend and overeat as an expression of love? When the message is romantic love is what counts the most? This rebellious approach seems far too jaded for me. My approach of transforming the day into something really meaningful for me feels like a more authentic approach. Could it be possible that we embrace a socially organized day of love and not buy into the machine? I like the idea of using the energy behind the machine to my own self constructed end.

Men do come and go, and now I am divorced after 18 years of marriage. Despite my best efforts, the first two Valentine’s Day were heartbreaking to be alone after so many years. I persevered, fueled by good memories, and found ways to celebrate the day by sharing my love with those around me I care most about. Baking cookies for my daughters, taking flowers to a lonely friend, and buying something special for myself! The consumer machine is big and all those commercials can pull at my heart with their images of “perfect” love, and for a few moments I do feel sad and alone. It is with gratitude that I also know my heart is bigger than the machine and hope is alive if I can revel in the love that is in my life.

Love is where you find it and create it for yourself. Love can save the world, so why not use this day to celebrate all the love in your life and spread generously the love you have to share, including lavishing it on yourself. It has the potential to make the day better for you and the world a better place to be.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 14, 2014

It’s LOVE Day. And it doesn’t have to be merely romantic love. Love encompasses much more than that. In raising my girls, I took pride in teaching them about loving themselves and sharing that love with the world. This day brought fun into our home as we celebrated our love as a family. They witnesses their father and I express our romantic love for one another AND we included them in the celebration. As a parent, I prefer to write my own meanings and traditions into any holiday rather than blindly follow societal precepts. It’s more fun and calls me to define my own values, meanings, and celebrations.

As my girls have grown, seeing their ability and willingness to share love with others shows me I’ve done a good job. Love is important everyday and maybe we don’t need a designated day to celebrate it. And I say, “why not?” It’s nice to have a reminder of the importance of love in our lives and our ability to share it with the world.

This week with our ‘epic snow’ here in Asheville, NC, I was blessed to enjoy love and fun with my daughter. We walked and sledded together in the snow thoroughly enjoying one another. Our beloved dog Magic came along for every adventure. He is the Love Ambassador! Being present to my love for her brought great joy to my heart. It occurs to me, yet again, that the greatest gift of love we can give our children is our presence. They feel it when we are not distracted or caught up in our own lives. Their lives are enriched when they experience our loving gaze and full regard. This is the gift of love and maybe the best way to celebrate the day.



Does your family celebrate Valentine’s Day in a special way?
If so, I’d love to hear about it and your thoughts on the day!
Wishing you and your family a weekend and year full of love

Reflections on my Daughters

January 3, 2014

This blog is dedicated to my girls who had hallmark birthdays in 2013. They are now 18 and 21! And yes, I am in shock…could I really be that much older?? Someone asked me this week why I kept referring to them as “my 21 year old” or “my 18 year old”. My response… “You don’t have children, do you?”

These girls of mine are remarkable young women. I am proud to say that not only do I love them with all my heart, I truly like them and enjoy their company; a rich blessing indeed. When they choose to share their lives with me including very personal things, my heart is deeply touched. Their trust in me is an honor beyond words.

This is not to say that we haven’t had our shares of ups and downs over the years. We’ve been thick as thieves, were estranged for a time early in my divorce, have argued toe-to-toe, laughed and cried together. Our relationship is well earned. They are amazing women whom I admire very much.

They’ve scared me many times (a gross understatement). Parenting tweens and teens will test everything you’ve got, in my experience. Watching them try different personas and approaches to life until they found their own truth has been terrifying at times. I like to think that my love of them, allowance of their exploration (with boundaries and consequences, of course), and unwavering presence supported them in becoming the beautiful young women they are today. Not to mention the multitude of angels combined with their own inner strength and wisdom which safely brought them round.
Folly fun18
As the New Year begins, it is customary for me to reflect on the past and count my blessings, including my daughters. This piece is also intended to encourage parents who might be in the thick of it with their own children at this very moment.

Keep faith and a strong heart.
Believe in them and yourself.
Lift them up with your heart and mind whenever you are inclined to worry.
And do not ever give up and think it is too late. It is never too late for love to make a difference in the lives of our children.