We have never done much with Valentine's Day - not even cards or candy for the most part. And this year was no exception.
Chuck went to Krogers and came home with what was our valentines dinner - a roast chicken and macaroni and potato salad and a slice of chocolate cake. We played upwards as we always do at the dinner table and ate this food that was pretty blah - but really, who cares?
It turned out that something in that meal was tainted - I think it was the potato or macaroni salads and he thinks it was the chicken - but we got food poisoning. It started for me Sunday at 5 Am and for him around noon on Sunday. And so yesterday was not pleasant for either of us. We each like to be by ourselves when we are not feeling well and still keep checking in. Bringing each other water or soup and crackers.
As I was laying on the couch on Sunday wiped out I found myself thinking about my sister. She would have been 60 on Valentine's day. I wrote on Facebook Saturday that I missed her and wished we could share a bottle of wine together. She died of lung cancer 5 years ago. That time between her diagnosis and her passing was filled with days like I was experiencing - nausea, pain and exhaustion. But mine was short lived and today I sit here and type this. And hers was ongoing until she finally left this earth.
Valentine's Day is a day about romantic love and it is all well and good. But as I checked in on my still tired husband this morning and think about the journeys we go on with those we love during times of illness, you know that the love that we all need is the caring companion through sickness and health. Not romantic - but real.
This is a text that I often read at weddings and it expresses what real love is:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
I am grateful for those who have loved me and pray that I can love others like this.