February is the month of romance, love and connection, and it’s about all of our relationships, not just the romantic ones. Many of us who are single should not feel left out in the cold. Valentine’s Day can still carry deep meaning, be it from our memories or our wishes for the future, and remembering to love ourselves.

On the 18th of this month, Bill and I would be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary, but he is no longer here. When I thought about ‘our’ day coming up my first inclination was, “oh it’s going to be a sad day’, and then realized the love we have for someone doesn’t die when they do, it lives on in our hearts — in a different form. 

In day to day life while he isn’t physically with me, in my heart, he is. He was the great love of my life and we were blessed to have the years together we were given. In our marriage, I learned more about love than I knew existed. When we passed the euphoric stage, that is when our love solidified and took on deeper meaning. Our connection and bond, friendship and commitment, and boundaries too, with trial and error, provided us with a foundation that would not crumble. 

We did it till death parted us, through the sickness and health, the good times and struggles; our arguments eventually led to understanding one another, the triggers reminded us we all carry some part of our past with us. 

We learned how to listen, communicate and let go of the expectation we needed the other to be perfect. There is so much that I miss. But I am grateful. I learned how to accept love and I learned how to give love. None of it could have been possible without both of us being sober and God being first over everything else.

If you are with someone, love them deeply, not just on the 14th but every day  you have together, if you’re single, or alone for now, love yourself with all you’ve got. As Bill always said, “Be good to yourself.”  Happy February.