Valentines for the Lost and Lonely

Valentines for the Lost and Lonely“Its heart is broken,” I say, to the woman at the counter, holding up a damaged box of Valentine’s Day chocolates. I buy it anyway. Plus ten Mozart chocolate balls. The shelves around me drip pink and red heart-shaped boxes and stuffed animals with bows. I hug my purchase and tell myself it’s “from Marika,” the daughter I loved so much that my heart broke when she died. On this holiday, one of her favorites, I will treat myself the way I treated her for twenty years; I will spoil myself.

For days I had listened with envy as my married and partnered friends yammered on about the jewels they got last year, the gifts they are expecting, and where they will be taken for dinner. I would not be receiving any bracelets or chocolate.  No chance this year; the men in my life being my son, my cat, Anderson Cooper of CNN nightly news, and this picture I took of an ancient Mesopotamian genie at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that’s sat on my desk for months waiting to be photo-shopped. If I wanted Valentine’s Day to happen, I would have to give up my lost and lonely cover. I would have to become the angel with the arrow.

So I mailed out cheerful cards to my mother, my Aunt Bope and friends who, like me, don’t have Valentine dates this year. And I lined up a dinner and chick flick with a neighbor for evening of the 14th. Then, in honor of my chemo warriors, survivors and deceased, I donated blood. Listening to the special V-Day music mix on the CD my daughter had made, I photo-shopped Facebook valentines for friends and made a list for Friday the 14th:

Send mushy email shout-out to my son.

Light an online candle for my father.

Light real candle and drink port for the memory of his mother, my beloved Omi Rosie.

Post online valentines and good cheer.

I feel like the Valentine fairy. In this coldest winter, I flit around crazily looking for good cheer to pass on. This holiday is just a silly opportunity to send out some welcome sweetness and warmth. But someone somewhere said the best way to mend a broken heart is to keep giving love to others. I say it’s to remember that life ends but love can live forever.

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6 thoughts on “Valentines for the Lost and Lonely

  1. Pingback: Cooking Up a Storm | ANYTHING'S POSSIBLE - EVEN JOY

  2. Elaine Mansfield

    Robin, I wish I’d read this a few days ago. It would have helped me get through this day-long celebration of love. A day of hope and expectation. Some of us lack the person we bestowed with Valentine’s love and gifts. At Wegman’s, I counted 10 ways they were trying to sell Valentine’s Love. I took photos. Instead of taking photos, you took part and the little gifts you gave meant something to people. I managed a few phone calls and Valentine’s texts. Just shared on my author page. No surprises here and no complaints.

  3. Gwen Tuinman

    I’m sending along the most enormous virtual hug imaginable. Your sharing is extraordinary and your honest sharing touches so many people. I hope that tomorrow holds something sweet and surprising in store for you.

    1. robinbot Post author

      I’m sending you a really grand hug back. Thank you so much. I don’t usually check out responses on Thursdays but yours must have been screaming at me to look.
      Cheers and wishes for sweet surprises for you back too.

  4. Robin Botie

    reprinted from received email:

    It was wonderful, so imaginative! As an art critic, however, I took the liberty of putting black marker over the red heart. The red color didn’t seem to fit and was intrusive. Try the heart in black. You may like it. It picks up the color of what you were wearing.

    Here is the first version of what I came up with upon viewing your marvelous photo:

    My friend Robin, touring the Middle East
    (in the land of Assyria, it would seem)
    fell beneath the spell of its stony royal beast
    who held her as in a hypnotic spell.

    Their eyes, magnets of opposite pole,
    arms frozen in passionate embrace,
    they pledged their love, soul to soul,
    no matter what they might ever face.

    Not very poetic, but the best I could do on short notice.

    Thanks for the Valentine card. It is probably the only one I will get.


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