Thursday, August 6th, 2020

P Publisher’s Point by Jean Loxley-Barnard
Unlikely Valentines


There is a time (or times) in life when our one special Valentine is so central to our every waking moment that we can think of no one and nothing else. Fortunately, that period of new love obsession does not last, even though real love does. Eventually we emerge from our one-person world and resume life in a sea of people.

It's a good thing and in no way denigrates our true love. Actually, it compliments it. We are more whole, more interesting, when we are multi-faceted. So too is Valentine's Day.

We need to think about those we love, however unlikely they may seem, and let them know. I find it easier to express love to those who fill my heart, believing there is no time like the present to do so. Today's world is more uncertain, but life has always been that way, despite our feelings of immortality.

No one has too much love. Have you ever met
anyone who felt over loved? Neither have I.

Sometimes friends are more apt to express love to one another than family - isn't that strange? I tell my mother every day that I love her, I do not always say it to my sister. I know she knows I love her, I know she does - we are soul mates, but I should say so more often.

Last week I had the good fortune to spend some one-on-one quality time with my stepsons, which is unusual. I stood at the barn talking to Randy for an hour on a chilly afternoon, just the two of us. I always feel safe with this outdoor man, whose size is just part of his mystique. When his Dad is away on a hunting trip, he keeps tabs on me, lets me know he is just a phone call away. I know he means it.

My oldest stepson stopped by after a long business day, looking very GQ, and sat down to chat. I have always loved talking with Jeff; we are on the same wavelength.

My youngest stepson visits when he is in town and is big on giving hugs. He built me a wide, permanent attic staircase a few years back, so I wouldn't meet an early end on the pull-down variety I had used for years. Now he came bearing a gift sweater that fit like it was custom made. I was thanking his girlfriend for her exquisite taste when she told me it was all Christian's doing. I'm wondering when I last told these three men that I really love them.

In these days of blended families, we all need to be conscious of speaking our love. We are, after all, lucky to have as many people as possible to call family. There is no need for any incivility, just because once upon a time someone got divorced. We all need to remember all the love that once brought us together, even if it wasn't a forever love. What is left can be a forever friendship.

My stepsons' mother is a gracious lady who invites my husband and I into her home to share special family times with her husband, "our" kids, and grandkids. Also, my husband was a widower when we began to date. I knew his late wife and her memory is one we share lovingly. He also knows that I will always care what happens to my first husband. None of these feelings has anything to do with our relationship.

All the people you and I ever loved are still in our hearts. Let's honor them. Let's tell them.

Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 39 years.