Valentine’s Day is a holiday for lovers, but sometimes it is just a holiday for love. The most special gift I ever received for Valentine’s Day was the gift of love and friendship. It wasn’t wrapped in red paper, it didn’t come in a heart-shaped box, it wasn’t expensive or glamorous, but it was a hugely thoughtful gift that I will never forget.
Valentine’s Day 1997 would have been my grandparents 49th Wedding Anniversary, except that my grandfather unexpectedly passed away in his sleep on February 13th. Our family was devastated. I was a sophomore at Indiana University and drove as fast as I could to Indianapolis when I received the call that there was something wrong with my grandfather and that they were trying to revive him. He was already gone…the next 5 days were a blur. By the time I returned to school, I was exhausted and emotionally drained.
As I sat on my couch trying to regroup, there was a knock at the door. I was very surprised to see a Papa John’s delivery driver there with a pizza because I didn’t order a pizza. He asked if I was Amber Cleveland. I said, “Yes, but I didn’t order anything.” He said, “I know, but this is for you.” I asked him to wait so I could get him a tip, but he told me not to worry about that it had already been taken care of.
As I carried the pizza to the counter, I thought what a nice thing for someone to do. There was a card on top of the box. It was a Valentine’s card for me from my friend Liberty. She wrote that she was thinking about me and wanted to make sure I was taking care of myself (and not forgetting to have some dinner). She said that if I needed anything at all, she was there for me.
She knew exactly what I needed, to know that I had a friend ready to listen and to take care of me if I needed it. It was a gesture that I will never forget. This Valentine’s Day, don’t forget to tell your friends that you love them and how much they mean to you…and maybe if they don’t have a special someone or they are going through a rough time, you can do something nice for them.
By the way, Liberty is still one of my dearest friends to this day and I think of her kindness and her thoughtfulness every Valentine’s Day.
Happy Valentine’s Day – wishing you love, friendship, and happiness. And offering a little reminder, that love doesn’t always look like you think it will.