Happy Valentine’s Day! So I know that a fellow blogger already blogged about this day of love and sorrow (depending on your view of this day), but I thought it appropriate to touch on the subject again, just in case you couldn’t get enough of this day of flowers and tissues.
Historically, Valentines Day was celebrated in honor of the patron Saint Valentine, but there is some mystery behind this and there isn’t a clear-cut story as to why February 14th is the day we celebrate.
You can read here if you want to find out more!
The most popular story told describes how Valentine, a priest who served during the third century in Rome, would marry soldiers to their beloveds after it was made illegal by Emperor Claudius II for them to marry. Emperor Claudius II believed that these soldiers would perform better in war if they were single as they would not be distracted by wives and families (young men not being distracted by women? Claudius should have known he was fighting an uphill battle – no pun intended).
Valentine, being the romantic that he was, decided to perform marriages for these young love birds in secrecy. But when Claud found out, he persecuted Valentine and ordered him to be put to death. But wait! This love story doesn’t end here.
Another legend goes on to say that when Valentine was in jail he fell in love with the jailors daughter (as if he hadn’t already made so many life endangering decisions). The young girl allegedly would visit Valentine in jail, and before his death, he wrote a letter that was signed “From your Valentine”, a phrase made popular today by Hallmark.
So what has this History Lesson With ShoutOut! taught us? That Hallmark did not invent Valentine’s Day. But it also shows that Valentine’s day did not necessarily start because of two people who fell in love, in fact it stemmed from a man who decided to be brave enough to do what he felt was right, even if it wasn’t legal. And that’s what Valentine’s Day should really mean. Showing your love for not just one person, but for all people equally.
And so to come full circle, as a single lady raised by a single women – this is what Valentine’s Day means to me! Celebrating the love of family, between a mother and a daughter, or sisters, or best friends. I have come to see Valentine’s Day as a day where we should contemplate who has loved us and been there to love us when we were not being as outstanding of a citizen as we could be, or when we did not even realize we needed to be loved! For me that has been my mom, and my best friend – two strong women who have always supported me when things were not going well, and even when things were phenomenal. If we don’t celebrate these people, and instead concentrate on the boyfriends that come and go- aren’t we just wasting our time and money?
This is in no way saying that you should dump your boyfriend on Valentine’s Day and wine and dine your best friend. But maybe before we celebrate the ones we aren’t too sure of, we should thank the ones who have been there for us through it all.