Is this your family tree?
If not, why not? Fix it.
Because my husband and I had 3 daughters, from the time they were very young he started giving them Valentine gifts. Stuffed animals, balloons, chocolates, cards, flowers… Valentine’s Day for us was an “honor-the-girls-in-your-life” day. Even though we came to rather “expect” something from him, based on years past, he still went to great lengths to surprise us. He’s not a shy guy, so he got a kick out of finding new ways to be unpredictable. He may hire some handsome kid off the street to hand off red roses at our workplace, or send a package with “a key to my heart,” or get some buddies to find us and serenade. This was especially tricky once our daughters started growing up and moving a million miles away. One especially wintry Valentine’s, he knew one of our girls was “snowed in” and all deliveries came to a standstill. Anxious to not disappoint, he guessed she might get cabin fever and would wander on over to the grocery store next door, despite the blizzard. He Googled the store’s number and gave the manager a call. Over the phone, he paid for a gift card and balloon–then they paged her name. Sure enough, she walked right up, and received a Valentine remembrance after all!
One day a few years back, Don called me from work in another state. He’d been working around the clock, and was broken-hearted to realize that the special day had arrived and he had nothing for us. Of course, my first thought was that he was being tricky. So I kind of blew it off. But he’s actually terrible at lying–which is a good thing, right? So I started re-thinking his words, and called him right back with a few subtle questions. I became convinced he had sincerely run out of time and steam and creative ideas, and was truly down in the dumps about it.
But hey! I knew what we could do! I telephoned each of our daughters and asked them to join in on letting HIM be on the receiving end. A few hours later, a bouquet of red, white and blue carnations arrived at his workshop, with a card listing our names and our love. On his “thank you” video, he openly wept.
So if you’re feeling lonely or forgotten this Valentine’s season, remember that relationships are not just the romantic kind. There are sisters and brothers and cousins and parents and grandparents and daughters and sons who love being reminded that they are important people in your life. Have fun finding a creative way to share your thoughts! And if for some reason you receive nothing this year in return…take heart!