Growing up, I always wished for some romantic gesture on the day of love. The problem was, I always seemed to be single on Valentine’s Day. During my childhood, there was one man who made sure I felt special on Valentine’s Day, my dad. He always sent my sister and I flowers every Valentine’s Day throughout high school. He never wanted us to feel unloved or unworthy when we saw all of our friends receive balloons, flowers, and gifts of affection.
Then, after high school was college, where I still seemed to spend this holiday alone. Valentine’s Day is such a dreaded day if you’re single. I cried many times wishing my knight in shining armor would show up with affection and some kind of cinema type love scene to sweep me off my feet and profess his love for me. For years, that never happened. Honestly, I can’t even count the number of Valentine’s Days I spent alone crying. Due to the mass commercialization of this holiday, it’s constantly in your face; chocolates, romantic cards, flowers, dinner specials, jewelry, and all of it. Honestly, I just desired love, not all the “things.”
It wasn’t until my mid-thirties that my prince finally showed up. He never allowed me to feel alone nor cry on this day ever again. I tried to convince him to boycott Valentine’s Day with me, but he wasn’t having it. He had spent many Valentine’s Days alone too and has always showered me with gifts of affection and love on a day I disliked for so long. Loving my husband and being loved back in return has made me finally enjoy Valentine’s Day.
Since I met him, I have made it my mission to make others who are alone on this day feel special and loved. I know what it feels like to spend this holiday alone and how a thoughtful gesture makes all the difference in the world. There are many people in the military community who spend this day away from their loved ones. It can get tough seeing everyone else enjoying their one and only valentine, while yours is miles away. To brighten someone else’s day is a wonderful gift of love in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, the holiday all about love.
Below are four ways you can share love with others in the military community this Valentine’s Day:
1-Valentine Notes and Quotes: Find quotes and poems online, print them out, and dress them up with some glitter and colorful paper. Make homemade valentines and deliver them to nursing homes, single soldiers, homeless shelters, or VA hospitals.
2-Sponsor a care package: Send a care package to a military spouse whose husband is deployed, new mothers, or simply someone who needs a lift. There are some pretty amazing companies that make sending a care package to military spouses easy such as; Milso Box, Cater to Mom, and The Brave Crate.
3-Valentine treat bags: Make Valentine treat bags and deliver to service members at the gates entering post. You have no idea how much they appreciate kind gestures like this while they work in blistering heat or freezing temperatures.
4-Care packages for deployed service members: There are many organizations that will help you send love to the troops. Check out Adopt a Platoon, reach out to your local USO chapter, or Soldiers Angels
When you sprinkle love into the world, it heals. A kind gesture is a blessing to others and you feel something in the process. Military life can be quite lonely at times, but Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to make it worse. It can take on a whole new meaning if you spend it putting some good into the world. One day, that good might just show up on your doorstep right when you need it the most.
© Wendi and Strength 4 Spouses, 2018.