The Valentine Pin

How about a little story rooted in personal nostalgia and remembrance for the day before Valentine’s Day?

Not everyone is a fan of Valentine’s Day (the dislike isn’t always exclusive to people not in relationships), but I love it.  I loved it even if I wasn’t in a relationship, I love it more now because I am, and I especially love it because of a little piece of personal nostalgia I’ve been happy to break out on the day (or as close as possible if Valentine’s Day falls on a weekend).

When I was a kid (about two or three years old), my grandma gave myself and my brother this Valentine’s Day pin.


She bought it at Hallmark, and from what I’ve been able to find, it was first available in 1984. I’ve held on to it since then (and even gained a duplicate when my brother did not wear his anymore), and wore it to school on my coat up through elementary school (the “too cool for everything” phase I’ve talked about hit in middle school), but pretty much was relegated to a dresser drawer until eight years ago.

I had been at my current job just shy of a year on Valentine’s Day 2011 (I started my job the week after Valentine’s Day in 2010), and decided to wear the pin to work – I’d found the office environment I’d been in to be one where holidays are to be embraced and celebrated.  Hence, I put the pin on my shirt.  The compliments it got were enough to keep me wearing it.  Last year, I had to run to my parents’ house to find it in the drawer, since I hadn’t taken it with me when I moved out a few months earlier.

Not only do I love how it looks, the fact that it is almost as old as I am, and how much people really seem to like it, but also the fact that it came from a very important person in my life: my maternal grandma.

This past Sunday (February 10th) marked four years since my grandma succumbed to natural causes and complications from Alzheimer’s Disease, and I’ve made it a point to wear the pin on/as close to Valentine’s Day.  It already came natural since I was wearing it happily, but now this personally nostalgic item has become more…personally nostalgic.

So, if you still really hate Valentine’s Day because it depresses you, just remember that there is more to the day than a relationship and gifts.  It is also a day to love the ones in your life, and the treasures – both tangible (like my pin) and intangible (kindness, consideration, and I don’t know, love perhaps?) they give to you, as well as what they leave behind in the end.

We aren’t meant to be forever in this world, but what is left behind by that person is more than the glamorous image of romance.


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