for ordinary people walking in wonder.

Valentine Notes from Last Year

This is a compilation of journal entries that I wrote last year around Valentine’s Day. It was fun for me to be reminded of some details and emotions from my life a year ago.

The week before Valentine’s Day is quite

A crazy time at Dollarama.



Stuffed animals.

People are buying.

I like it.

The most unlikely people-

Including, but not limited to

The scruffiest

The lumpiest

The grumpiest-

All of them buying


I just want to ask everyone

Who they love


Who loves them?

How wonderful that we can love each other!

I have two favourite Valentine’s customers.

One, a dad.

He smiles sheepishly and says,

“It’s all junk, isn’t it? But it’ll make my daughters so happy.”

The other, a young man.

He buys a box of twelve of the tiniest, fluffiest yellow Easter chicks.

I say, “These are the cutest. I keep thinking I should buy some, but I don’t know what I’d do with them.”

He says, “I’m buying them for my girlfriend for Valentine’s Day. I just think she’ll love them.”

Easter chicks for Valentine’s Day!


A lot of people buy Valentine’s decorations too.

Balloons, banners, wreathes, fake flowers.

It is actually kind of frustrating, because it is hard to pack everything well.

So many things don’t fit into the bag right,

Or don’t fit neatly together,

Or stick out the top (or the bottom) (or both).

People walk out the door with their lumpy, pokey bags.

And I think,

That’s just kind of the way love is.

Not really a neat, well-contained, orderly thing.

More of a






On Valentine’s Day,

Ricky picks me up from work

And we go home and make a ginormous delicious supper together

And give each other permission to

Never feel guilty ever again for not doing anything extravagant for each other on valentine’s day.

It just is not our way.

We are happy to just sit on the couch eating our apple chicken, rice pilaf, Harvard beets, and broccoli salad, watching the first few episodes of Modern Love.

Around 9:00, we walk out to Wimbrel Point,

And sit on the rocks in the cold wind

Looking at an unsettled Lake Ontario

And a big bright city skyline.

It is exceptionally perfect

And exceptionally chilly.

Sometimes we want different things,

The two us do,

And that feels scary-

To want something different

Than the person who you have bound yourself to forever wants.

Sometimes we wonder what it really means-

To genuinely love another human.

You hear a lot about

Love being selfless,

And it does need to be that,

But also,

Truly loving someone isn’t just giving yourself up for them.

It’s also

Being willing to accept what they graciously offer you.

That is a part of love too.

And it isn’t necessarily the easier part.

We took this picture last summer.

This picture. Summer 2019.

Because of you,

I see so many more sunrises

Than I ever would

Without you.

This is a gift you offer me.

Thank you.

There is a book called To Bless the Space Between Us,

And that phrase pops into my mind every now and then.

“Bless the space between us.”

The other day,

we were sitting down at a table, and our chairs happened to be kind of far apart.

We reached out and held hands to pray.

While we prayed, I looked down at our hands,

Hanging heavy there in the airy space,

And I prayed for God to

Bless the space between us.

Do you do anything special to celebrate Valentine’s?

What have you learned about love in the past year?

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2 Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing your heart with us. I loved your Dollarama stories too. Happy Valentine’s to you and Ricky!

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