My Funny Valentines

"But don't you change one hair for me
Not if you care for me
Stay little valentine stay
Each day is valentines day"

Love always intrigues me. What is love?
James Redfield describes it as a real and psychologically tangible energy. You can use your love. Ok, I'll buy that.
But for those of us who were not naturally inclined to accept or give love, there was
a solution - a drink. I used to need a little liquid courage every time I got close to love. Like if I was too sober, it might burn.
So when I got sober I had to get used to the idea that love hurts, love heals and you have to be awake to feel it.

Valentines day always hits me like a ton of bricks.
I have been alone more than not.
I am finally and happily engaged.
I have lovely kids. OK, they're boys, so maybe lovely is too sweet, but I think it is lovely to have the little creatures running about trying kill each other.
We have a funky little home downtown, we rent (hey, it's Santa Barbara)
I have a lot to be grateful for.

But some days I romance the life I had when I drank.
I romance the ideas I had of love.
I am just learning what love really is.
Love can be tricky. Staying awake and open to all of it can be hard.

My Father and Mother have been together for sixty-four years.
Over a year ago we had to put my Mom into a nursing home.
Now my father resists home visits. He says it is too much for him.
The visit consists of me picking Mom up and bringing her home.
I make food, they watch Jeanette McDonald and Nelson Eddy movies, I make more food, and I take her back to the nursing home. When I am with them they are like children. They demand and bicker and fight for my attention.
My Dad is throwing my Mom away.
My Mom is dieing of a broken heart.
She knows she is demanding and helpless. She knows she is hard to take care of.
She cried in my arms like a baby two days ago. She knows it is hopeless.
She will not live at home again.
So this is love?

My fiance' and I discuss the ice flow. I think it is the best idea. I am ten years older than him. I fear I will be a burden to him and my sons. I hate this thought.
So I have decided on the ice flow.
(the elderly Inuit [Eskimo] who commits suicide by going off on an ice flow to die)

When it is my time, when my flesh becomes too weak to support me.
I would simply like to be left alone.
By this I mean; do not try to sustain my life with medication and warehouse me with three hundred strangers. Do not leave me in the hall in a wheel chair to stare blindly at the other inmates.
All I ask is that you love me enough to let me go.
Let my body go.
My soul will be ok.

Love has changed for me. It is not a swirling epic romance full of hearts and stars.
I take that back. Because sex got way better in sobriety. So I see lots of hearts and stars now. Lots!
But I don't dream of intangibles. I don't dream of Mr. Darcy in all of his virile swagger walking through the mist to sweep me off my feet and twist my knickers.

I think love may well be an energy. An energy we can choose to direct. And in directing it, we may choose to withhold it. If we withhold it, we are not allowing more to come to us. Love can be enhanced by kind actions. Love does not run out,there is always more. It is an infinite power. You know that tingling feeling you get when you help someone or let him or her help you?
So love actually is...all around. (Ok, I stole that from a movie..duh)

I like James Redfield's ideas. They work for me.
The sadness I feel for my parents is real, it sustains.
My love for my parents is real, it sustains.
It is like the Indian tale about the two wolves inside us all.
One is angry, one is gentle.
Which one will survive?
It all depends which one I feed.

Maybe the only good thing I did today was stay sober.
That is my valentine.
It says I will be awake and pay attention. It says no matter how you are who you are or how old you get, I will be there.
Where's the love?
There's the love.
Can you feel it?

Your funny valentine.
Favorite "love" movie...Love Actually

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