It’s late on Valentine’s day. I have been too sick this week to finish the valentines as I had hoped, which really bothers me because those cards are the most fun to make. The more glitter the better, and if you can fit some lace or ribbon on too, do it! Oh well, I have supplies for next year!

I wanted to revisit the theme I touched on twice this week: the difference between enduring LOVE and the oogly-googly feeling of romance.

This week started out with my darling Tom feeling ill — last weekend, in fact, and he took the first three days off work. Then I caught it, and took the last three days off. One of the children has had an annoying post-nasal drip cough for over a month, the other was sickly Thursday and Friday (but much improved today). Nothing is a bigger test of true love than everybody feeling ill all at the same time.

Today, Valentine’s Day, I woke up on the sofa (had to sleep sitting up so I could breathe). Tried to keep the dog quiet so Tom could sleep longer (didn’t work). Sat on the sofa feeling miserable for hours. Then moved to Tom’s chair after he and the children left for their afternoon activities. Felt miserable there, too. But played “Puzzle Quest” for a long time anyway. It’s slow-paced and mesmerizing, just right for a fever. And then, to prove my love, I started a load of laundry and the dishwasher.

I am now recuperating from my exertions…

But silliness aside, true love isn’t the sparkly, bright, shiny, new gift of the valentine; it is the somewhat worn, dingy, occasionally ragged, “comfortable” old bathrobe of real life. My valentine from Tom was the leisure to rest and sleep as much as I need this week. My valentine to him this week was to step up and do just a little more as I could so he didn’t have to do everything. My valentine to my children was to make sure I talked with them at least a little each day — including the day I had no voice. Their valentine to us was to help out around the house, doing chores that are normally mine or Tom’s.

After courtship, excitement and adventure; after the wedding, ribbons and bows; after the first house, the first real disagreement, the first child (or the first pet); after real life begins… Then love proves itself. I believe that everyone should be able to marry — to experience all the joys — all the discouragement and responsibilities — all the triumphs — all the sorrows and worry — all the peace.

Hey, if someone is willing to put up with kleenex everywhere and random half-finished cans of ginger ale in unlikely places… why not?

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And although the Blog Carnival actually ended yesterday I think, I noticed that Robin had another post today, so I will refer you over to her last post as well.