How To Be Your Own Valentine

Okay, so we’re not all lucky enough or blessed enough to have a special someone in our life anymore. But we do remember the time when we did, and it is a good memory. Or not.

So here’s what to do if you are all alone on Valentine’s Day.

  1.  Thank God that you’re alive…alone or not.
  2.  Have your favorite breakfast.
  3.  Call someone else who is alone.
  4.  Arrange a lunch or dinner date with them.
  5.  If that doesn’t work go to #6 and #7.
  6.  Prepare your favorite lunch.
  7.  Cook your favorite dinner…better still, order in.
  8.  Look for someone to hug…if that doesn’t work hug yourself.
  9.  Smile in the mirror and say, “I love you.”
  10.  Start looking for next year’s Valentine so you don’t have to be your own.

Happy Valentine’s Day. 

A Few Days With Charlie Brown – Thursday

Charlie BrownAt one time or another we have all been where Charlie is in this clip; feeling lost and alone and wondering what life is all about. But though we feel lost, we are never alone and whether we know it or not, there is a plan for our life.


“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”Jeremiah 29:11


He Died Alone

On Friday, I attended a memorial for yet another of our church members. This man was relatively young…under seventy. Unlike other memorials we’ve had, this was very sparsely attended, because Andy tended to be somewhat of a loner since his parents died a few years ago. He was devoted to his parents and especially his mother after his father passed. He brought her to church every Sunday, wheeling her up to the front of the church where she could see and hear everything, even though she was far from understanding anything. You see, she had Alzheimer’s Disease. But that didn’t stop Andy from being the attentive son he always was. His parents were the only family he had here in Canada, though I’ve been told there were a few cousins in Holland.

Although none of us at the service felt we knew the man very well, in his meditation, our Pastor made it possible to get a glimpse into Andy’s lonely life. He spoke of his dedication as a teacher, his political affiliations, his generosity, his devotion to his parents. Andy donated and dedicated several hymn books to the church in memory of his parents. I opened one on Sunday with his name in it. Even though Andy’s ashes were in plain view, awaiting interment in our cemetery, it was Andy the man who occupied my mind during Friday’s ceremony.

I could see him sitting in a back pew or even in the Narthex, slightly disheveled, but attentive. Very seldom did he mingle after service for coffee or tea as most of us did. He came, he worshiped, he left…or so it seemed. (In case you’re wondering how I could see him sitting at the back of the church, I’m in the choir facing the congregation.)

There is a a saying that someone can be conspicuous by their absence…that was Andy on Friday, and the weeks previous to his death. He died peacefully in his sleep one night and save for Jesus, he died alone.



Not Alone

It is one of those years when Christmas is not going to be very merry for some people. There are those who have lost loved ones over this past year, or even over a few years, who, although surrounded by family and friends will still feel alone. It comes with the territory; their special person is no longer with them to share the season with. There will be no special gift to think about, no one to decorate the tree with, no one to put their pinky to the wishbone with them. Each year gets a little easier, but for those spending a first Christmas without their loved one, this will be the most difficult.

Let there be some consolation in the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:20, “And surely I am with you always…”

If we believe in those words, feel the memory of love, submit to the peace of the season, we will realize that in most ways we are not alone.



A Feeling of Abandonment

In those first few moments, I felt abandoned. My mother passed me into the arms of a person who I had never seen before in my short life.

“What time will you be back?” The question hung in the air like the smell of last night’s boiled cabbage.

“Six,” said my mother, as she rushed out of the house to avoid my wailing protest.

The room where I was traded off was hot and stuffy. A blanket was spread on the grubby, linoleum floor, and my chubby, two-year-old self was told to have a sleep.

“Sh, sh, go to sleep.”

The voice faded away as its owner retreated from the kitchen………

Though my father and mother foresake me…(Psalm 27:10)

This chapter is an introduction to the many times I felt abandoned as I was shuffled from one foster home to another.