Dear Valentine,

You are a precious, even if you don’t get roses or a dinner out or a card. Your friendship and love for the people around you is not defined by consumerism.

Dear Valentine,

Love is remembering a friend’s birthday. It’s sending a bitmoji to brighten someone’s day. It’s baking cookies for your neighbor. It’s cleaning up your kids’ vomit for 8 days in a row. It’s biting your tongue when you want to lash out. It’s giving grace to a cranky husband. It’s closing cupboard doors and toilet seats. It’s picking up socks and Legos and Barbie shoes and turning off all the lights in the house after everyone else has gone to bed. It’s loading the dishwasher and making a homemade dinner that someone is going to complain about. It’s doing your best work. It’s putting your hobbies on hold so someone else can learn a sport or take a class.

Dear Valentine,

You are an angel of mercy. You listen carefully. You speak kindly. You cry with people who hurt and laugh with people who rejoice. You pray for people who’ve hurt you, and you never even tell them. You choose to be satisfied with your own life, even though everyone else’s looks better. You are the real deal, and people remember that all year when they’re wearing normal colors for normal days. (It’s why they call you when life gets hard.) Your relationships are your valentines, and they endure all year and for all eternity.

Dear Valentine,

You are critically important to the family you support, even though you work overtime, bear the incredible weight of stress, and provide unendingly for people who mostly likely complain about not having more. You are a hero. At some point, your family will recognize your sacrifice and shake their heads in disbelief at all you accomplished. And they will wish they had thanked you more often. They will understand true love, perhaps for the first time ever.

Dear Valentine,

Your life is the biggest love note of all. It’s been read and enjoyed by thousands–maybe even millions, because no one can comprehend the impact of a single life. Your life bleeds real blood and feels real heartache. Did you know that people love you for it? Yes, they do. They love without goose pimples or swooning or eye-batting. Just an old-fashioned, I’d-do-anything-for-you kind of love.

You can’t sell true love. And you can’t buy it, either.

You live it.

Happy Valentine’s Day to someone who’s made the world a better place.


Your Secret Admirer

image by Petr Kratochvil

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