By Jillian Maas Backman
Although we have never met in person, I feel as though we have been dearest friends forever. Let us celebrate this valentine sentiment together in love. The type of love that grows into maturity over time. The spiritual union between America and its people.
As we watch the current events unfold in Egypt and cannot help, we can however identify with the struggles and triumphs ahead on their journey towards loving freedom. Oh, how we know the growing pains of that evolution. Collectively experiencing good and bad memorable moments together for centuries. Falling in and out of love with each other. Taking out our personal frustrations publicly over hot monumental issues of the day. Losing precious life’s over cultural differences. Learning the hard lessons of forgiveness when necessary. All feeble attempts to suck the life out of our exuberant American essence we call home. Yet, through it all, never losing sight of our unbreakable intimate bond we have to one another.
I cannot begin to imagine the pain and suffering one goes through when your country experiences a global identity crisis. Living with the constant uncertainty if you next door neighbor is really friend or foe. The thought of this kind of assault landing in our own communities is simply inconceivable. Nevertheless, sadly, it does.
Our homes represent the physical structure where all American souls beat in unison. Our wants are all the same. To live a life greater than the generation before us. Where the children can rest comfortably at night knowing all is well and filled with bright tomorrows. When the unrest of the world burrows its way into our sacred space, horrible things begin to happen. When we argue amongst ourselves, all heart fills with unbearable immeasurable remorse. When we murder one another, a piece from all of us goes home with them.
When we abuse each other, a bruise is left behind on all of us as a shameful reminder never to forget. Ignorant cruelty separates us from the sincere intentions of Valentine’s Day. The commitment to love one another until death do us part. Hold fast to this spiritual vow of being soulfully tenderhearted.
Our American neighborhoods are meant to secure the salt of the earth attitudes we hold precious in our minds. A haven from all the cares in the world. Where groups gathering yearly on the side streets to celebrate the marching band during the Fourth of July parades. With joyful parents beaming ear-to-ear with un-banished pride. Dragging your life partner to a crazy over- the- top car show that comes to town every so often. Moreover, you in turn, go see the cheekiest girl flick ever to even the score. Ahh, we are so very lucky to have such a simple privileged life.
Treasure quiet moments alone when the world is not looking. Let your guard down and be yourself in all its silly glory. Cook in your underwear together when no one is the wiser. Watch useless TV if you want to. Keeping your words gentle between each other. Standing side- by- side to battle the evils of this world. Encourage with firm, but loving intent, to coax another back on track with goals and aspirations. Plant yourself firmly on the front lines together to see the job to completion. Intuitively listening to each other. Know when hurt feelings have come your way. Followed graciously with a sincere apology for any misunderstandings. Embrace your collective soul mates you love unconditionally; friends, brothers, sisters, parents, cats and doggies, children, partners. Just because you can!
There are many who have lost the chance to host ridiculous skirmishes over the dumbest things. Like the toilet paper roll pulling from the top or the bottom. Victims who will never know how it feels to have someone in life to bicker over such insignificant matters. The ability to grow old together and say, “I love you my dear” on any day, let alone on this prestigious Valentine holiday.
Happy Valentine Week to you and your loved one.
In loving humbleness, Jillian Maas Backman