Valentine’s Day. What a bittersweet time for those of us who are widows and no longer feel like someone’s Special Valentine! Because today is Valentine’s Day, it seemed right to talk about it.
I awoke this morning remembering 50 years of Valentine’s Days with my husband, Dave. Because he didn’t grow up with a romantic male role model, the first few years were a bit disappointing for me! I may have even bought my own card a time or two. Don’t judge! It’s better than being angry with him for forgetting! After a few years, he started buying me roses on Valentine’s Day… one for each of the children we had raised together. Each rose was a different color, and some years he would include a red one to say that he loved me independently of the kids. He would search through all the roses at the florist until he found the ones that he thought perfect, and they always were.
It was precious to me that on the year that he was so sick with cancer, our kids remembered to have my roses sent on his behalf. Additionally, a pastor friend brought me more roses as a thoughtful gesture. I was doubly blessed that year!
According to Hallmark, 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged every February 14th – not including all those kids’ valentines exchanged in classrooms! The most Valentine’s Day cards go to Teachers, who truly need those expressions of appreciation! We’ve come a very long way from 1913 when Hallmark produced their first Valentine cards.
Valentine’s Day spending is expected to reach $23.9 billion this year, up from $21.8 billion in 2021. More than half of Americans plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day in 2022, spending about $175 on average. This year’s most popular gifts are candy (56%), greeting cards (40%), and flowers (37%).
In light of all these interesting facts, we find ourselves asking how to best cope with the feelings of loss and aloneness we experience when it seems the whole world has something we don’t.
As I pondered on what I’ve been feeling today, my heart turned to Proverbs 31:10 – “Who could ever find a wife like this one – she is a woman of strength and mighty valor! She’s full of wealth and wisdom. The price paid for her was greater than many jewels.” (Passion Translation)
No matter how you’re feeling today, I want to remind you that God sees you as a woman of strength, valor, wealth and wisdom. He paid for you with the precious blood of Jesus, which is more valuable by far than many precious jewels. You are dear to His heart, and His love for you surpasses candy and cards, flowers and dinner dates!
Old traditions are beautiful reminders of the love we shared with our husbands for so many years. While they can bring about sad moments, they also trigger memories of some beautiful things about our marriages that are ours to keep forever. A day all about love serves to remind us of the greatest love of all that permeates every day of life as a widow and surrounds us continually: God’s heart for His Bride.