Thank you Gramma Putt

Valentine's Day, the day of hearts and flowers, will be forever tied with Gramma Putt, my dear Great-Grandmother, whose birthday falls on February 14. I am unsure if the date would carry any significance for me if it weren't inextricably linked with showering her with love. With this in mind, it's no coincidence that “heart” is in my business name.

Saint Valentine was born in third-century Rome. He was a Christian priest who possessed a desire to heal, spread the word of love and of Christ. He preached and converted many people including Roman guards and noblemen, which was a dangerous thing to do in the declining Roman Empire. We remember him now as a saint who married people secretly, henceforth becoming the Saint of Love (he is also the saint of asthma, epilepsy, beekeepers and a little town in Italy, for a little random trivia!)

In his day, he was reportedly a well-liked, charismatic man with the ability to heal. He lived as a Christian in the true sense: spreading love and healing but In the eyes of the waning Roman Empire, this was not love, but rebellion. Though he was imprisoned twice by the government, his magnetic personality enabled him to become friendly with the Emperor, Claudius II. His final, fatal act against the Empire was trying to convert convince Claudius to give up his pantheon of Roman Gods and convert to Christianity. He was gruesomely executed, and thereby martyred on February 14, 269.

Today, I know there are many who do not look forward to Valentine's Day. For some, it has become a lonely time of year, a reminder of lost or unrequited love and grief. If this sounds like you, I encourage you to let this year be the beginning of a new view of Valentine's Day for you. Romantic love isn't the only love out there; there's love for yourself, your pets, or whatever sparks joy in your life.

I embrace Valentine's Day because of the promise of love that is our birthright. We ar all worthy of a love so strong and pure that has the power to dissolve the sadness and loneliness in our heavy hearts. Let this one day in February and the story of this amazing human remind us all of how love in itself is powerful above all else. Channel your inner St. Valentine (he's in there somewhere, really!) and let your Valentine's Day rebellion begin.


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