For most of my life I've searched for love. There were brief moments when I thought I'd found love, moments that filled me up yet somehow left me emptier than when I started. When I was a child my father would sit by my bedside with his guitar in hand singing Irish ballads to lull me to sleep. I remember thinking, this is love. When my parents divorced and I watched my mom starve herself because of depression I thought, that is love. When I was 14 and my boyfriend told me he'd be with me forever as we laid in the bedroom of his sister's double-wide trailer while he took my virginity, I thought, this is love. The next day when he broke up with me because I was just too young for him, I thought, "Is this love?" When I was twenty-three and I stood before God and recited marriage vows I thought that would make me loved. When I was twenty-eight and I signed a divorce decree dissolving my marriage I thought I didn't deserve love. When I was thirty and I moved to Chicago to be with someone that wanted me, I thought, now he'll love me. When I was thirty-two and the man I'd moved here for broke my heart I realized, it didn't matter if he loved me. When I was thirty-three I decided I didn't need love. When I was thirty-four I met a man who loved me even though I told him not to. When I was thirty-six I brought a child into this world and as they laid her in my arms I discovered that all that came before that moment, were only preparing me for real love. I thought I'd discovered all I needed to know, about love, about myself and then I met my son two short months ago. When I looked into his eyes I saw how simple love has always been. It can take a lifetime to find the definition of love, and a moment to believe in it.
Happy Valentine's Day. I wish you many moments of clarity.