I have never been one for Valentines Day perhaps because it has always felt somewhat disingenuous, unauthentic or even forced. I also never loved the feeling of having to compete with the rest of the world to purchase the perfect gift, plan the most romantic date, or figure out the exact right thing to say. Let's be honest this day is a lot of pressure! I have always felt that Hallmark holidays somehow cheapen how we should be loving each other. We somehow are given a pass by having one day that somehow makes up for all the days we have neglected one another.
Why spend all this effort on just one day, when we should be constantly devoting our time and energy to reminding those we love how much we care about them.
We should be expressing our feelings to those we cherish in small but regular ways. We should be persistent until they hear us. We should fight for them, nurture them, hug them, and kiss them whenever we can. Life is just too precious to only devote one day to sharing these feelings. We do our relationships a disservice by not regularly telling each other how much we mean to one another.
In the past few months, I have felt an outpouring of love from family and friends I have know for years and some for only moments. I have felt appreciated, and touched on a daily basis throughout this journey and I hope that I will be able to reciprocate. Giving back at a time where I feel like I am only taking is something I will continue to work on in the days to come.
I really feel that December 20th, 2010, was my first real Valentines Day. December 20th is when I learned of my preliminary diagnosis- it is the day my world stopped, and my heart fell to the floor, breaking into a million pieces. Since this life changing day, a team of people have come into my life, ready and willing to help to clean up the mess, and delicately put me back together. As I slowly become whole again, I know I am being molded and shaped by those that love me into a newer and perhaps more improved version of me.
Today as I finish day 3 of 4 at Hotel Prentice, I find myself staring in awe at at my final (appropriately red) chemo bag which is slowly and methodically entering my heart, seeping through my blood stream and curing me of my disease.
I am staring intently at my machine, connecting to my breath, and thinking deeply about my road to recovery and healing. In this meditative state, I feel myself overwhelmed by tremendous love and appreciation for those around me.
So today- and only today- may I wish all of you reading, a Happy Valentines Day.
Just promise me that this- may today be just one more moment where you have the opportunity to open your heart, be vulnerable, and embrace those closest to you.
With love from the 15th floor.