For Valentine’s Day, we all think of love. What about caring?

Heather Jose photo.

Heather Jose

Happy FebRUARY 14th!

We don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day in my house, at least not in the traditional sense. Haven’t in all the years of our marriage. My husband jokingly says “Why does everyone celebrate the day before my birthday?”

Yes, he was born on February 15.

However, we do celebrate February 14th. I like that so much better. There is no money involved, only creativity. The end product might look rather simplistic (take a look at several that I’ve saved, at right)—but the meaning surpasses any card or flowers that would have been purchased. You see, each year we simply make each other a card. The words inside are much more important to me than anything a third party could concoct. I usually discover the homemade card from my husband, tucked it in the corner of my bathroom mirror—or balanced carefully on the faucet after he has left for work.  Most years, he finds the card I have made inside the bag he has packed for his annual birthday snowmobile trip.


We call the 14th the holiday of love, and yet I prefer to think more about care. Last year we exchanged cards less than two weeks after Larry’s mom had passed away. This year we will be doing so right after I lost my dad. Though our love certainly is important—the care that we have shown each other has always been much more the focus.  Our cards recount the things we are grateful for, the accomplishments that have made us proud and our commitment to the future.

CONSIDER: What if more people used February 14 to show gratitude for caring?

What would happen? Rather than pairing off we could use the day as a chance to share gratitude for many. It could be a “thank you” day for people who make a difference to us. I think we’ve got another new holiday idea for our 2013 Caregiving Calendar. (Read more about how readers are helping us create a new Caregivers Calendar.)

Happy February 14th!

And, thank you for sharing this journey with me.

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