Breland: Let love shine bright for Valentine’s Day

Published 11:03 am Friday, February 11, 2022

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It was just before Valentine’s Day and students in one fourth grade class at Franklinton Elementary were making valentines as an art project. Doing creative projects was what I longed for, so I was elated making valentines. I had quite a few ready shortly.

One boy was not having very much luck with his valentines, so the teacher, Mrs. Foil, asked me to help him. We had red and white construction paper, lace paper doilies, ribbon and paste. No problem making some really pretty valentines for him to give away.

Since this was a hard time financially for many families during World War II and the recovery, many could not afford to go to the store and buy valentines. Making them was a wonderful project provided by the teacher.

I could hardly wait for Valentine’s Day. There was a decorated box in the classroom and as students arrived for school, they put their valentines in the box. We sat anxiously awaiting the time after lunch when they would be distributed.

I had developed a little crush on the boy I was helping and I just knew he would give me one of those most beautiful cards we had made. Much to my disappointment, the one I got from him was one of the less than perfect cards he made before my help.

I was so disappointed! Very little thankfulness for me helping him, I thought. I should have felt different since he gave me one he made by himself! I received many cards from others, but that one was my disappointment!

Of all the years I was in elementary school and so many valentine boxes emptied, why is this the one Valentine’s Day I remember so very many years later? I guess it was because my little girl heart was really crushed. It did not take me long to get over that boy!

I am not sure if students still have Valentine boxes at school, but if they don’t, they should. The teachers always had extra cards for those who didn’t bring or receive cards. During the day, she likely went through the box and made sure everybody was included.

Well over 20 or so years ago, my sister, our two brothers and I were going over boxes of wonderful things Mother saved over the years before she died. We could not imagine some of the things she sweetly saved. Among them were valentines we had received in school.

What a joy it was to go through them and recognize the names and writings from those little school buddies! They came back as we talked about them and those days at school. One was the little card I remembered. My long ago disappointed day was recalled and laughed about! He probably never knew how he hurt my heart! The messages in school valentines were given as a tradition, not romantic love.

We can go back over the ancient history of Valentine’s Day, but it doesn’t mean a lot anymore. What is really important is letting others know of our love.

Rob gave me Valentine cards, usually with a gift, for a long time. It was extra special, although I knew he loved me even if I didn’t get anything. I tried to do the same for him.

Can you imagine how many millions of dollars will be spent on Valentine gifts and flowers this year? Many will be very pleased. Even little gifts or cards for the kids and grandkids are wonderful expressions.

All you guys and gals, let your love shine! Show your loved ones that you care, especially on this date. We have had a hard couple of years, so let’s top it off with extra love for each another too!

Since all love comes from the great love of Jesus Christ, don’t forget to love and thank Him! Happy Valentine’s Day!

 Retired as Associate News Editor, Bob Ann Breland writes a weekly column for The Daily News. You can email her at