People often ask me what it’s like to have spent so many holidays away from my family. I’ve missed a number of Christmases, Thanksgivings and Halloweens, which in my friend group from home could be a religion. The holiday however that always makes me the most homesick is Valentine’s Day. If my parents did nothing else right (which you both did a lot right by the way) they were awesome at Valentine’s Day. In our house it was the one holiday where there was no fighting about the house being clean for the relatives or morning meltdowns about not having batteries for Hess trucks. It was just a day when my mom and dad always let my brother and I know how much we were loved. One year we woke up and my mom made us breakfast we opened cards that my dad had sent us from Raleigh telling us how much he hated being away but he had hugs waiting for us when he got back. My brother got a Howdy Doody doll and I got jewelry box with ruby slippers on top that started my Oz collection. Another year mom was working late and Bruth and I got to spend dinner with dad. I got a really pretty heart shaped tin with cupid on it filled with little red gummy hearts and Bruth got a HUGE heart shaped helium balloon with arms and legs that was like a fifth member of our family for months. As a kid the gifts were great and I knew my parents loved me. As an adult I can’t believe they had the insight to make this commercial holiday about love not about romance. My parents set me up for a tradition of celebrating happiness, joy and knowing I am deeply deeply loved rather than a day when I feel inadequate for not being partnered. I don’t ever get cards, gifts or letters of love and yet I always spend the day remembering some of the best days in my childhood. Some year when I do have someone to celebrate this cheesemoriffic Hallmark holiday with I’ll make sure they know that I love them so because my parents (with a little help from the Beatles) taught me that all I need is love, romance is just an added bonus.