“Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today.”
Valentines is a hallmark holiday in my mind. It is definitely not one of the majors (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter), and not like birthdays and anniversaries. I have begrudging participated over the years and continue to do so. I get the cards and little gifts. I have done the flower thing and bought the pretty jewelery. I say that because I am not above participating in the forced "date night." This year is a little different.
In our little town of Kirkwood, we have had a recent event that has made all of this seem quite irrelevant. About a 1/2 mile from my house sits the City Hall where I voted the Missouri primaries. Two days later, a disgruntled man stepped into that same building and shot 2 policeman, 2 city council members, 1 public works person, and the mayor. They were all killed except for the mayor. He lies in a hospital ICU in critical condition. This small suburb of St. Louis, a quiet, family oriented town, is in shock.
Tonight, as I drive home with my hallmark cards and box of chocolates, I pass children placing luminaries in the front of their houses. The streets are filled with these candle lit bags. A tribute to the fallen. Families walk the streets to observe the community's tribute. My eyes well up, and I realize that the chocolates and cards probably mean less to my family than just having my presence at home. I am sure the members of our city government said something I have said to my family many times, "I'll be right back."
To my Kirkwood family, I grieve with you.
To the families our mayor, city officials, and policy officers, I pray for you.
To my family and friends, I love you.
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”