It’s the eve of Valentine’s Day, and I find myself hurrying to meet the demands of a deadline. With shopping done, it’s time to get gifts wrapped, cards signed and those that need to be mailed off sent. Caught up in the midst of all this activity, my mind can’t help but wander. I’ve got an elderly mom I care for, a husband, three children between us, each with spouses, and five grandchildren. For me, love takes on many forms. While Valentine’s Day is traditionally set aside for couples who fancy one another with images of hearts and cupid crowding store shelves and checkout counters, to only see it in such simple terms is somehow cheating love’s bounty.
Love revealed itself early in my life when my mother took me shopping downtown to select fabric and buttons for my clothes she tailor-made or when my dad taught me how to ride a bike while helping me to rest assured I was not to be afraid. It was shown by my older brother and sister who taught me how to read and write at a very young age, and by my maternal grandmother who spent hours in the kitchen baking me one of my favorite – always lopsided – chocolate cakes.
When I started school, love was further demonstrated by friends and flirtations that carried me throughout my youth while reminding me I was never alone. It was also demonstrated by countless teachers and administrators who gave guidance to a student who showed potential, even though I occasionally stumbled.
Throughout my life, I have been blessed to have been surrounded by good people who oftentimes placed my needs before their own, and I’ve tried to give back whenever I could. However, when I couldn’t, I paid it forward by showing kindness to a stranger perhaps by holding a door open or sharing an umbrella. The truth is, most of us are surrounded by love’s bounty even when we get so busy we fail to notice.
So on the day set aside to honor love, why not be a little kinder to one another? And when you see someone in need, why not offer them a helping hand? I’ve learned over the course of my life if there’s one thing you can count on it’s that there’s always somebody out there who needs a good hug, and sometimes that’s all it takes to make someone’s day.
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About the Author
Joy Metzer worked as a professional interior designer for more than twenty-five years, spearheading projects both nationally and abroad, while cultivating an audience for her writing through several book publications and a successful online blog under her former name, Joyce M. Stacks. Though no stranger to real life portrayals intended to enrich the lives of her readers, this is her first effort at writing a children’s chapter book loosely based upon the private life she shares with her husband. She attended both the University of Utah and Texas Christian University and currently resides in Hot Springs, Arkansas, to be near her family, as well as in Lead Hill with her husband, Bill.