I swear, it's not just because I'm part of one of those smug couples who declare that they don't need Valentine's Day because THEY can express THEIR love for each other every day of the year. I am part of one of those couples -- we do express our love every day, we don't like the idea of forcing one day of the year to be extra romantic, we are smug -- but it's not just that. It's also that this is the one day of the year when I'm particularly afraid of what might come out if I opened my heart.
The last time Valentine's Day fell on a Saturday, seven years ago, was hands-down the worst weekend of my life. I spent that weekend in the hospital, in an induced labor to deliver my first child, already dead. Physical agony and emotional anguish... it wasn't exactly chocolates and roses.
It's a lot to reconcile. Seven years later, I'm spending my Valentine's Saturday with my husband, whose love kept me centered and hopeful through that awful weekend and the ups and downs that have followed, and with our son, who is miraculous in every way. Today my son has gifted me with a handmade card and a crown of glittery hearts; invited me to play Love, "a game with lots of hugs and snuggles"; and instructed me to made Daddy's pancakes heart-shaped because I love him. His affection on this day is a bittersweet treasure.
Love hurts. Luckily, love also heals.