The Art of Loving When You Are Alone

I kept glancing at Valentine’s Day on my calendar. The day for couples in love. As a widow, I tried not to think about the yearly reminder of my overwhelming sadness. My second year spending Valentine’s Day without my husband, I absolutely dreaded it.

I remembered the first Valentine’s Day without Ed, and the president of Q Place brought me flowers and candy. That was very sweet of her. I reflected on whether buying these things for myself this year would help me with the sadness or make it worse.

As I wondered how other widows spend their Valentine’s Day without their spouses, I remembered a single woman in my church decades ago who hated Valentine’s Day because it was a holiday for couples. I had encouraged her to share God’s love with people who might be alone on that day as an option.

So then, decades later, shouldn’t I take my own advice? I thought about all those widows who were going through exactly what I was going through.

I asked myself, “What could I do for them? What if I take my eyes off myself this year, and think about how to love on them?”

I knew I liked getting cards and flowers for Valentine’s Day. Every time Ed did that for me the past 30-plus years, I enjoyed knowing that I was loved. I decided I needed to do that for these other widows.

A few days before Valentine’s Day I eagerly bought a bunch of cards and mailed them to several widows I knew, letting them know they were loved. I was excited thinking about what a nice surprise it would be when they received their card!

On Valentine’s Day I bought some flowers and delivered them to a couple of widows that I knew. One wasn’t home and I left the flowers on her doorstep. The other was excited to receive flowers and hugged me in appreciation for thinking of her.

And for dinner? One of the ladies in my tap dance class had lost her husband after a long battle with cancer. I knew her loss was newer than mine. I decided to ask her out to dinner.

Not only did she accept, we had a great time sharing our grief, sharing some laughs, and learning more about each other. And we enjoyed our evening so much that we barely noticed the restaurant full of couples! Sometimes Valentine’s Day is more about loving someone—and not necessarily a spouse—how we would want to be loved.

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”            Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV)

Who can you show God’s love to this Valentine’s Day?

Kim Taylor
Q Place Communications Coordinator