From the Publisher’s Desk: Valentine’s Day


By Bruce Schlabaugh

“Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age.” Anais Nin

It is enjoyable for us to share this special day with our loved one. Flowers and chocolate, cards and dinner out are the standard elements of the Valentine’s holiday. Yet, we all know that it is much more than that.

Valentine’s Day is more than being in love with somebody. It is a celebration of the power of love. When we have someone to share our life with, it is a beautiful thing.

As we grow older, some of our friends or loved ones may no longer be with us, but our love for them is still alive. There are ways to keep their spirit alive – some bittersweet and some simply sweet.

We are free to choose which way to give our love. Following our passions can be productive and rewarding. Let’s say we volunteer our time to work for others as a mentor, guardian, caretaker, tutor or helping out at a food bank. If we have pets in our family, then they are the object of our care and affection.

We might still be housing or helping our adult children – and the grandchildren! We babysit or provide childcare for them for many reasons. Sometimes we need to become their legal guardians. Yes, we have more than enough people, pets, or endeavors to feel the joy of our love!

When we retire, many of us reinvent ourselves. We do the things we want to do rather than what we had to do, like that full-time job back when. For many of us this becomes a labor of love. We all know people who have volunteered to help others, people who have helped family, people who created opportunities to make the world a better place.

One of the joys of senior living is looking back over the memories we’ve made. The events in our lives, our children, the loved ones, places we have traveled to, and friends we’ve known along the way. They are all woven into a fabric, a sort of running tabloid. We can pick out a certain event and turn it around in our minds to savor its memory.

Each morning I look into the mirror and wonder where has the time gone? And after that initial shock, I start to remember all of what has happened on my long journey. And without a doubt, it has been a heck of a ride!

Some say that they wouldn’t change anything if they had it to do all over again. Not me, I have made a lot of bone-headed mistakes. There are plenty of things I would change but what can you do? The secret is to try and forget the mistakes of the past, then work to reflect on your good memories and those victories. In a way this is a form of personal editing – but so what?

Valentine’s Day is all about love. We are blessed with people with whom we can share our love but as Shakespeare wrote, “To thy own self, be true.”

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