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Am I Anti-Valentine's Day?

Now I know, just by reading the title, there are some out there ready to string me up. Hold on! Let me explain…

I’m not exactly against the holiday as a whole, but I do have some reservations. And not the dinner kind some for you made for the big day. According to the National Retail Federation, the average American plans to spend $192.80 this year. That’s a total of over an estimated $25 billion. Yes, I said billion! Think of all the roses, chocolates, stuffed bears, etc. that is.

It’s a running joke between my husband and I about how lucky he is to have married such a low-maintenance wife. I’m not a fashionista. I don’t demand high end labels. I’m very self-sufficient. As far as Valentine’s Day goes, please do not send me roses! First off, not a huge fan. I much prefer Irises, sunflowers, Gerbera Daisies, etc. Red roses are so predictable. Second, and more importantly, are you really going to spend four times the price just because it’s a Hallmark holiday? No thanks! Go to the grocery store and buy me a bunch of flowers. Spend $10. I promise you; I will love them so much more.

But here’s the real reason I am not a fan of Valentine’s Day. When you love someone, tell them. Now. Not once a year because the calendar reminded you. We go through life thinking we have it all figured out. Believing we are safe from troubles. We do not, and we are not. If you love someone, tell them, because you never know when that person won’t be around to tell them anymore.

And this goes for all the people in your life, not just your spouse or significant other. I had a friend, Adrienne Dunning, a fellow author and North Carolinian. Adrienne was the best! She was super talented, warm, funny, just all around wonderful. I lost her to a house fire in 2021. In the blink of an eye, she was gone.

Two months before she died, I was fortunate enough to spend a few days with her, and the other members of our band of writers, at a signing in South Carolina. We ate and drank, laughed, wrote, chatted. Even got pedicures! When I said good-bye to her that Sunday morning, I had no idea it was actually good-bye. It never occurred to me I would never see her again.

The older I get, the more I understand that loss is a part of life. The more I understand just how important it is to hold onto the people we love. So, call them. Hug them. Tell them how much you love them. And not because it’s a national holiday.


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