Standing by our bedside, he touched my shoulder, and I raised my sleepy head halfway to meet his goodbye kiss.
“Happy Valentine's Day,” he whispered.
“Happy Valentine’s Day,” I mumbled, accepting the kiss, and then lowered my head back onto my arm for a pillow.
It’s been nearly twenty-eight years now since we got married, and I like to pretend there’s no need to make a big fuss about a “day”.
(He knows not to fall for it.)
He left for work that morning, but returned a few hours later, calling out my name as he always do when he comes through the door. Today was no different.
I made my way downstairs to find balloons, chocolate, and a bouquet of white lilies on the table.
(He also knew anything other than the traditional red roses would be equally pleasing.)
I covered my mouth to hold in a delightful laughter, and an “Oh my God! They’re beautiful!” escaped me.
It never gets old- the sentiments of Valentine. In fact, every marriage needs its “Valentine moment” periodically throughout the year.
It’s not the flowers, chocolate, or balloons. It is the emotion that is evoked in the giving and receiving. Love.
Some argue love is not an emotion at all. Some say it is different for everybody. Others say it’s whatever two people want it to be. Then, there are those who conclude, simply, you’ll know it when you see it.
I say you’ll know when you feel it.
I’ve come to realize, you can’t mistake love after you have felt it come alive inside of you.
It is the emotion from which all other positive emotions spring. It is realized in an unpredictable awakening of a selfless desire to be the conduit through which those emotions flow- to someone else. It releases inhibitions, opening one's heart to reach outside of self, connecting with another without stipulating that the other reach back to you.
It is in this awakening love is unmasked, and you discover it for yourself. You know what it will and will not allow a heart to do.