Monday, February 13, 2012

What Love is

It’s so easy sometimes to buy a Valentine’s Day card or a bunch of flowers and feel as though our love has been expressed. Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for Valentine’s Day – as a topping to what we do the rest of the year to show the ones we love that we do, indeed, know what love is.

Here are just a few of the ways I can remember receiving tokens of love or giving them:

The best Valentine’s surprise I ever received from my late husband, Pete, was actually a bouquet of flowers – which he ordered from a hospital bed, recovering from a surgery - to be delivered to me at work.

Pete worked a graveyard shift for many years. One year, my daughter and I waited until he left for work and then covered the garage door with butcher paper and made him a giant Happy Birthday card. His grin the next morning could have lit up all of San Diego!

Another year, I blew up 100 red balloons and wrote love notes on all of them, then stuffed them into my hubby’s car for Valentine’s Day. He drove to work with all the balloons still in his car and showed his work buddies what his crazy wife did.

I will always treasure one gift from Pete. During a time when we only had one car, I rode the bus to work. On a bright San Diego day, the rain clouds came and I had no umbrella. Pete realized this, bought me one and drove 38 miles round trip to bring me an umbrella before he went to work, so I wouldn’t get wet later in the day when I stood waiting for the bus.

I have a collection of all the wonderful handmade Valentine’s Day, Christmas and Mother’s Day gifts that my children have given me over the years. I surprised my daughter one year but pulling out a string of clay beads she’d made when she was five and wearing them to work. My now-grown daughter still loves to go to the pottery shop and make me cups and vases. I treasure every one of them.

My son had a habit of buying me Christmas presents for several years that made me cry. They would be books about strong women he knew I admired – Katherine Hepburn, Amelia Earhart, etc. The year he bought me Women Who Dared, he wrote an inscription inside telling me I was proud of me. Is there really a better gift than one of praise?

I rarely give gift cards, except as extras. Every gift I give, no matter how small, I try to find something special that reflects who the person receiving it is. I’m sure I don’t always hit the nail on the head, but I try, because I can see no other reason to give a gift except to say “I care.” I’m also a huge fan of love coupons – you know those written promises to do something for someone you love. I love getting and giving those!

Luckily for me, this is just a tiny sample of the love tokens that have been exchanged between my family over the years. My Valentine’s Day wish for all my online friends is this – may you get that little something that makes you smile!


  1. Awwww! This made me smile. What incredibly people you have in your life.

    I'm honestly not one for celebrating any holiday. I like Christmas for the most part, but that is also my anniversary now, so that takes over.

    Valentine's Day I have never liked due to the commercialization of it. I love when people are original and genuine though. And I can tell you are one of those people.

  2. That's beautiful. You are so thoughtful and loving. I can't tell you have a big heart Kathy. Your family is very blessed.

  3. Mission Accomplished - I am smiling! Very Nice :)

  4. What a great post Kathy! I loved it! Your heart is so full of love, a trait you obviously shared with Pete and that you taught to your children. Your post made me smile so much that the corners of my eyes crinkled up.



  5. I loved this post. It is so important that we remember the precious little that connect us to those we love.

  6. Okay, Kathy, you made me cry with the unbrella story! That was sooooo sweet and belongs as part of a Love is.... statue. :-)

    My ex-husband used to come in when I in tub, my lands already wet from getting in, and turn my water off for me. (Having MS for many years my grip was never good.) Too bad that was about his only redeeming feature.

    Wow, I haven't thought of that in years. Lol

  7. Red, this post actually brought a little tear to my eye. Maybe it's the late night fatigue, I don't know, but it was emotional. Thank you for sharing this with us. :)

  8. I love all these comments. Thank you all so much. I'm glad that the little stories touched you. I've been so lucky in my life and now to have a platform to share that is THE BEST.

  9. Beautiful post! I love the story about the sweet and thoughtful. The best present.