|The bag my Valentine's book came in this year.|
Valentine's day, oh we've had a tumultuous relationship!
As a kid, Valentine's Day was about love. My sister and I were always my dad's valentines. Rather than a stupid stuffed animal that we'd throw away, my dad would buy us each a book he thought we'd like and some expensive chocolate. It was one of his many ways of showing us how much he loved us. It also began a long tradition in our family of giving books. Books. Words. Stories. Knowledge. Valentine's wasn't about the commercial holiday, but actually about love. Love for and from my family. And love of reading and learning.
I have always hated the commercial part of Valentine's day, going out for an overpriced dinner, with overpriced wine, buying overpriced chocolate and overpriced jewelry. And so I did go through a brief time in my life where I hated Valentine's day. I suppose you could have classified me as on of the bitter singles! YIKES!!! That didn't last long though.
Now my sister and I continue the tradition my dad started with us and we give each other books and a card just reminding each other how much we love one another.
In University I became a supporter of Eve Ensler's organization V-Day which raised money and awareness to prevent violence against women.
This year I took part in the Memorial March for Missing and Murdered Women in Calgary. I walked and "held" Shirley, a 39 year old woman who is missing. I was in a room full of people who have lost someone, know someone who has, or, in my case, tired of these lives being ignored.
So I've come to realize, that I love Valentines day. I love being able to openly spread love. I love being able to tell people that I love them without consequence. I love that I get to love like I do every other day of my life, but somehow because this day has a whole greeting card section dedicated to it, it is accepted. I love that it brings communities together. I love that I will always be my dad's Valentine. I love that Valentine's day is now being used to give a voice to women who did not have it in the past.
So, I love you. Whoever you are, where ever you are, whatever your circumstances are. I love you, today, tomorrow, and always.