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All of My Heart M y grandmother’s favorite friend was a woman named Mamie. They were so different; I was never sure how the two even became friends. Mamie was a southern belle who wouldn’t settle for anything less than the finer things in life. My grandmother was a refined woman, but she didn’t have a lot. They met while my grandmother was traveling in Mexico, and despite their differences, they became the best of friends. They would talk every week, sharing stories about what they did, what their grandkids were up to and, when they got older, about their various illnesses. Having Mamie in her life was so important to my grandmother. They shared a tight bond, and I could see how much joy that relationship brought to both of their lives. Those two women really loved each other. With Valentine’s Day coming up, I’ve been thinking about love. Romantic love between couples is a wonderful gift of life, but we often overlook the value of the love we share with friends. This is what the ancient Greeks called “philia,” that platonic love we have for friends who we know will always have our backs. Sometimes it can feel like you’re all alone in the world, especially if you happen to find yourself single on Valentine’s Day. But when you realize you have really good friends who care about you and truly love you, it’s obvious you’re not alone at all. I am fortunate to have relationships like that in my own life. In high school, my really good friend was a girl named Victoria. I called her Vickie. Our boyfriends both did sports together, so we hung out at their games a lot. After graduation, she stayed in her hometown, I moved away, and we lost contact. Then,
Who Do We Celebrate on Valentine’s Day?
“It’s amazing to know there are people out there who would be there for you in a heartbeat.”
just before our 40th high school reunion, we reconnected. Vickie happened to be in town for a conference, and she reached out to me about getting dinner. When we first saw each other, Vickie ran over and gave me a big hug. Then we sat down for dinner and started talking as if no time had passed at all. Since then, she and I have talked every other week. We make a phone date to catch up on life, and if something comes up and we need to talk right away, we call or text. I’m so happy to have Vickie in my life again and cherish our friendship. If you find yourself feeling lonely on Valentine’s Day, I highly recommend taking stock of the friend love in your life. It’s amazing to know there are people out there who would be there for you in a heartbeat. It’s truly a love worth celebrating.
–Cindy Saunders, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
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