February 2010 has come and gone and another Valentine’s Day is history. I have not had much success in the romance department, so each year I make silly jokes about this holiday. I tell friends I’ll be wearing a black arm band. I buy myself a rose, a bottle of perfume, or a box of chocolates. I dramatically spend a quiet evening at home watching the 1945 David Lean classic Brief Encounter and drink a glass of solitary sherry. Very civilized.
This year however, I decided to celebrate the love in my life. I am proud to boast that I have lots of love, despite my lack of Mr. Wonderful. Many aspects of life yield disappointments, but I can honestly say that I have never been disappointed in my friends. In fact, my cup runneth over in this brand of love.
Why do we say things like, “Oh, we’re just friends?” Many longstanding friendships outlast marriages I know. I have been blessed with loyal friends who have demonstrated support and love in countless practical ways during the most difficult challenges of my life. Their contributions are priceless.
My friends go out of their way to be with me when I need them. They listen to me ardently – whether I am ecstatic or complaining. They forgive my bouts of vanity, self-indulgence, and moodiness. We support each other’s schemes and causes. We have shared birthdays, professional triumphs/disappointments, the loss of loved ones, and the ups and downs of their parenting -- which I can experience, thanks to them, despite having no children of my own. My friends are the family I created for myself.
So this year I made a few Valentine cards and sent them to my closest friends. Because we were already into February when I came up with the idea, I did not have time to make many cards. So, if you are a dear friend reading this and you did not receive a valentine, trust that you were not forgotten. I am sharing the virtual valentines above with you this year via my blog, but perhaps I will launch a tradition and make more snail mail cards next year. I just have to develop a card design I can replicate efficiently for some 50 people! An embarrassment of riches and a magnificent challenge to have before me. I’ll start working on this project now.
Each valentine was a little different, but all featured a lace envelope (made from leftover paper doilies) that contained a card. This “card within a card” shared my favorite line from The Wizard of Oz: Remember, my sentimental friend, a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.
I also have a devoted friend in my Yorkshire Terrier and we spent Valentine’s Day together. There’s no place like home.
Copyright © 2010 by Annette Simons.