As it sit at my desk in shock that we are already well into the month of February – I feel like it was just Christmas – I almost started to worry that I don’t have a gift for my husband just yet. I remember a Valentine’s Day with my boyfriend, now husband, when he surprised me by filling a room full of balloons and all of my favorite snacks, candies, food and wine. I also remember the romantic, but very crowded, dinners we would bravely face on Valentine’s night. I used to think that Valentine’s Day was a day full of hearts, chocolates, flowers, love and hurrying around on a work night to get a good table, only to be rushed through dinner with sub-par food and scattered service due to the crowds.
However, now that we are married and have experienced so many life changes, from a sextuplet pregnancy, mandated bed rest in the hospital for months, the loss of three babies, the joy of raising the three surviving miracles, loss of my mother and a new role for me as a stay-home mom and he as the sole full-time breadwinner, my views on this day have drastically changed. Changed not for the worse as many would suspect, but rather for the better. I am so glad for that. With all these life changes in such a short span of time, I am reminded of the precious gift of time, love and partnership. Isn’t that what this day is truly about?
As you brave through the mall looking for a special gift which I am about to do on this rainy day as well, do it with the love and appreciation in your heart that you have someone in your life who you are celebrating. If you aren’t in a relationship, think about the one you have with a friend, sibling, parent or even celebrate YOU. After all, how can one fully love without loving herself?
I part with a gift for you, the community of this great site that celebrates women. It’s a reading that was done during the celebration of life after our sextuplets were born and as we said goodbye to our three daughters who didn’t survive. I share this because it’s critical to remember what’s important in life, which is why I also made sure it was included in my book as well. These simple phrases are words to live by and hope for. Yes ,we all love to be dazzled with diamonds, and I for one will never turn down flowers or chocolate covered strawberries. But remember what the day is about and what it means to be a “love”-ly person.
May your eyes seek the best in all people
May your mouths speak wisely
May your hands reach out to others,
May your feet run to do good deeds.
May you have the patience to learn
And the spirit to be playful.
May you have the will to imagine
And the freedom to dream,
May your life be long and happy.
May your good name shine,
May tradition show you the way,
May you find your place in the world
May there be love in your hearts
And smiles on your faces.
May your days be filled with promise and wonder
And may God grant you peace.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all!
Gracie Soldani lives in San Jose, CA with her husband Brian and their three surviving four-year-old sextuplets, Santino, Bruno and Lucia, two rescue dogs (CJ and ND) and their four hens and rooster. She published her first book, Gracie’s Orders and is now working on publishing her second book. She is also a sales rep for Beauty Society and President of NAPW Silicon Valley.