Today we have two stories for you in celebration of Valentine’s Day- continuing our week of Love Stories.
A Father’s Valentine
I am a family man. Husband and father of two boys, I love my family. It makes me tick, gives me drive and challenges me. It makes me feel good but never let’s me forget my weaknesses.
Looking at my children I see my past and their future merge and wrap, realizing there is only the present moment. That’s when I ask myself: why do I yell at them? Why am I impatient? Luckily, my 2 little zen masters teach me humility and appreciation every day. They work very hard to teach me that thinking about the past and future are wasted moments. They need me tender and mindful now. That’s when beauty reveals itself and you know why you are here. With the help of their mother they try to keep me on the path. I love them for it. They are my universe, and their love is the gravity that keeps it all together. – Holger Thoss
(The photo above is a panoramic family portrait by Holger Thoss, who is a very talented artist and photographer. Check out his site and see his work. You can contact Holger and have him take panoramas of your own family this year- what an amazing gift! Holger’s studio: 212-627-8829)
A Childhood Valentine’s Day Remembered
Do you remember your very first Valentine’s Day? I remember being in grade school, when I began receiving little envelopes with my name on them sitting on my desk after lunch recess. They were little Valentine cards, cute, had a little girl or animal or something sweet written on it and were very typical of the ones you’d buy in a box containing a dozen or so from your local card store. Suddenly, I began to realize that getting something on this day, like a card or candy, was something I should probably pay more attention to. It wasn’t until I started giving Valentines cards to my classmates I realized that I didn’t want to scribble just anyones name on the cards because there were meanings like “Be Mine” or “You’re Cute” or “I like you” and other phrases. I had already been the recipient to some Valentines before and I immediately wanted to know WHO had given me a valentine and WHAT did it say. The problem with those boxed cards was there wasn’t enough of the ‘safe’ cards like “Happy Valentine’s Day” or “You’re Sweet” or You’re Neat” that I could hand out and not be concerned if it said, “Be Mine” or “I Like You” or “Kiss Me”. What began as a sweet gesture suddenly became panic over who would I ask to be MY Valentine? TORTURE!! It never really dawned on me before as the recipient of a card, but giving a Valentine’s Day card to somebody was revealing so much. It was acknowledging I had feelings for them. TORTURE!! Scary and exciting, I gave out my first Valentine’s Day cards and it was actually pretty great. Valentine’s Day for me is no longer scary, but it is still exciting. Giving a Valentine today has more significance then it did in grade school, as the person I give one to today is the person that I love and not just the person that I like. – Chip G.
(Below is a photo of Chip and his Valentine, Arturo)