Valentine’s Day sucks. Which may sound odd coming from someone who ceaselessly praises love and sex, but it is true. I am not a fan.
My mother and father were married in a small Baptist Church on Valentine’s Day in 1959. They are no longer together. They are still technically married but my father now lives in a residential care home for dementia patients and my mother lives alone. My father’s disease makes him angry and aggressive leaving my mother with blurred and fading memories of his kindness. It is a sad day for all those whose partners are transformed into strangers by illnesses.
Some things aren’t fair.
It is my step(ish) daughter’s birthday on Valentine’s Day (I am not married to my boyfriend so I can’t claim to be a step-mum and there is no other term for it). The end of my boyfriend’s marriage has put continents between him and his children. When he hangs up the phone after talking to his daughter, his eyes are dark with pain. It is a sad day for all those whose love is diluted by oceans.
Some things can’t be changed.
I remember the last Valentine’s Day I spent with my ex-husband. I was a couple of weeks away from moving out but I hadn’t told him yet. I felt sick and scared and heartbroken. My husband and I passed the entire day without speaking. As I stood on the edge of the cliff summoning up the courage to jump, I felt entirely alone. It is a sad day for all those whose love has withered away.
Some things can’t be fixed.
I want to believe that “love is all you need” because it feels as though it could almost be true, but then I remember, on days like this, that for as many hearts that sing, there are equally as many that struggle to beat.
I see your brave face, and I hear your aching heart. On this Valentine’s Day, I stand with those of you who has found love challenging and sometimes brutal. You are the ones we should be celebrating.
I give all my Valentine’s love to you.