As Americans, we will spend approximately $15 billion on gifts for Valentine’s Day. This statistic, coupled with the fact that a calendar mandates we declare our love for someone, makes it easy to hate this holiday. It’s commercial, it’s fabricated and it’s contrived.
The real Valentine’s Day commemorates several Christian martyrs from Ancient Rome. The romance thing didn’t enter the picture until Courtly Love dominated the Middle Ages. This is more interesting to me, particularly given the recent events of my life.
When I combine this heart-themed holiday with the concept of martyrdom, I have stumbled upon a meaningful holiday. I reflect on the thousands of kids that die every year from sudden cardiac arrest. Their deaths are tragic, but in the context of my new-found holiday, they are martyrs. From their deaths, we can raise awareness, change policies and eventually save lives.
In the past 24 hours, two strangers, Terri Salina and Luisa Cerda, reached out to me. They lost children this year to sudden cardiac arrest. My heart goes out to them. I hope they find peace in the coming year. They made my Valentine’s Day meaningful.