A priest named Valentine who lived in the third century is credited with the name of the day. He became a martyr on February 14, 269 AD when the Roman emperor, Claudius II, the Goth had him beheaded because he refused to worship pagan gods and had gained popularity with lovers who came to him to be married.
Valentine’s Day serves a good purpose. It reminds us to tell people in our lives that we care about them. Often we feel they should take it for granted, but sending them a message of love is certainly a worthwhile tradition. You not only spread a little happiness, you feel happy in the process. It seems to have become a rich tradition for the young at heart, and that can be any age!
The opposite of love is hate. Misunderstandings and quick tempers can destroy relationships. I recall a letter that once appeared in a Dear Abby column about a young man from a wealthy family who was about to graduate from high school. Parents in that affluent neighborhood often gave the graduate an automobile. A week before graduation Bill and his father spent some time looking for a new car. Bill anticipated receiving that special gift. On the evening before graduation his father handed him a gift-wrapped bible. Bill was so angry he threw the bible down and stormed out of the house, never to see his father again. He came home years later, only when he got the news of his father’s death. As he sat one night going through the possessions he was to inherit, he brushed away the dust from the bible his father had given him. Inside the front cover he found a cashier’s check dated the same day as his graduation in the exact amount of the car they had chosen together.
A few years ago a new saying became popular in our society: “Never say you’re sorry” and it became a catchy phrase among non-thinking people.
I’m reminded of a story about another young man, six year old Danny. His twin sister was in urgent need of a kidney transplant. One day his mother took him aside to explain the serious situation that Nancy would die if she didn’t receive a suitable kidney. Tests had proved Danny was the most appropriate candidate as a donor. She asked him if he would want to give a kidney to save her life. He readily told her he would. When the boy was recovering from the successful operation in his hospital room (and not understanding that he would be all right) he tearfully hugged his mother and in all earnest innocence asked: “Mommy, now when am I going to die?” There is no greater love.
There are many loving people in this world who are showing their love toward others every day. When you tell a child, a parent or a spouse, or even a friend that you love them, it often “makes their day.” From our thumb print onward each individual is a unique creation who is capable of loving and in turn worthy of love. May your life be filled with love. MAY YOU HAVE A HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!
Virginia Carlin, a former columnist and author of “I Remember Marco-A Tale of Two Villages” selling at Sunshine Booksellers and the Marco Island History Museum.