Whatever your personal feelings regarding this day, it does have meaning. As a culture, we come together and, despite the part about buying stuff, we all find ourselves with something to say about love. It is, after all, whether we admit it or not, human beings’ favorite thing in the world. It is the source of our greatest joys and our greatest sorrows. In its many shapes and forms, it’s what drives us, what fulfills us, what, however temporarily or not, assures us that our existence is not in vain, that our living has meaning. If we have it we struggle to keep it, if we don’t, we struggle to have it. Not only is love the vessel that connects us to others, it is what ensures that our lives do not go unnoticed. Unwitnessed.
When I gave birth to Kathy and had to say goodbye, it was my love for her that gave me the strength for it. When I spent the subsequent years pining for her, it was Frank’s love that gave me the strength to go on. When I was racked with guilt and pain, it was my love for my other children, Danielle and Frank, Jr., and their love for me, that gave me the strength to be a good mother to them.
I’ve been married to the love of my life for fifty years now. Love has evolved as we have evolved. What has remained constant, however, is the strength it has infused in us to face life, and bear all it gives and takes away. Today, because of love, because of the hope that love wouldn’t allow us to give up, we are great-grandparents to a little boy born to the daughter of our long-lost daughter. It feels a bit like a miracle. Like a dream. Like magic.
Today, Valentine’s Day, I want to thank my daughter, my co-author and partner in crime, for finding us. For making our family whole. For giving us so much to celebrate.
And Danielle and Frank, Jr., for being my greatest source of pride and joy.
And my children’s children (and their children), who are gifts I cherish every moment of my life.
And my friends, and our supporters, and the readers of Secret Storms, whose own stories inspire Kathy and me every day.
And, of course, my Valentine. Frank, the love of my life.