Wednesday, February 14, 2018

To Me, From Me on Valentine's Day


Dear Me,

I bought these flowers for you for Valentine’s Day. Does that seem strange? I just thought you might want to have a few beautiful roses to look at while you work because I know this day is not your favorite. I did the math, and it’s been sixteen years since you received a Valentine’s present of the romantic sort (not to discount the homemade cards from the kids and nice notes from your parents, because those are great). You had a husband who wasn't a fan of the holiday and then, for longer than that, you've been single. Life happens that way. You can tell yourself it doesn’t matter. You can proclaim, “It’s just a silly Hallmark holiday.” But, even though you don't like to admit it, I know it gets to you sometimes anyway.

Let's always remember this truth to start - You have a lot of love in your life!

While they choose not to use the words very often because I think they have their own struggles with love and attachment, I know that your kids love you. They show it in small ways – by asking for a hug or wanting you close when they aren’t feeling well or proving at a later date that they actually were listening when you offered advice, when your son smiles the moment he spots you picking him up from aftercare and the times your daughter asks to sit with you after her brother is asleep so you can talk with her about those unique middle school challenges. 

You have amazing friends who have shown you a type of love and support that overwhelms you. Do you remember when, several years ago on Valentine's Day, they got a key to your home and cleaned it and left your fridge stocked with meals? Or when they sat in solidarity for hours at the hospital when you gave birth to your son three months after separating from his father? Or how they care for your kids? How about how they make you laugh and forgive you during those times when you fall short? That's love. You strive to be that good of a friend in return.

You have parents and siblings and extended family who love you and who tell you that they are proud of you. They know your story from the beginning. I know how much you appreciate them. You have so many people walking this life journey right alongside you.

But, even given all of that, it’s OK to feel that this day can be hard. It's OK to admit that you are not 100% content with your circumstances, although you know your faith teaches you to find peace however life has placed you.

You wish you had a partner with whom to raise your family. You wish there was someone to sit and laugh with you over a silly TV show or discuss how to handle a problem with one of the kids or just give you a hug when you are tired or upset. 

You wonder why so many of your friends who got divorced years after you did have found new relationships. You are happy for them . . . I know you truly are . . . but you cannot help but question when it might be your turn. You ask yourself what is wrong with you and then you get angry that you let yourself worry about such things or put yourself down.

And here’s an unpleasant truth – you occasionally wonder if you are serving out some kind of punishment. Since you pushed the good guys away and ended up in a bad situation, have you used up your chances and now you must live with the consequences?

I know, I know. You don’t live in these negative spaces. You don’t spend your days and nights brooding over your chronic singleness. Who has time for that anyway? You know for a fact that you do not need a man to "complete" you. But I also know that it’s on days like Valentine’s Day that the sad thoughts can start to creep in from the corners.

So, take a few minutes to acknowledge the negative talk as it passes through your mind today. These moments are only a small part of you, and it’s OK for those painful moments to matter. Acknowledge them, but don't stay with them. 

But then look at the beautiful flowers I got you, one for each member of the Moore Trio, and remember that you are so loved – by friends, by family, by God. How amazing and awesome is that? All of that love is worth celebrating on this holiday, so do it! And know that I still believe your partner, that one man who values you and thinks you are smart and funny and kind, is out there and the two of you will find one another when the time is right. I really believe that. So be patient, my sweet self. I know that can be a big ask when more years keep passing by, but I ask it nonetheless.

I love you, Sarah Helen Moore. Others do, too. That works both ways, so don't forget this . . .  I'm sure there are people out there who need to hear you tell them how much they are loved by you today, so make sure you do that. Today and every day. 

Love,
Me


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