Today, of course, is Valentine's Day. It represents a special time to do something nice for the significant other (or the someone you wish to fill that role) in your life. It's about flowers, and jewelry, and chocolate, and dinner reservations. It's about haircuts, and manicures, and shoeshines. Indeed, it's a day that might come with some planning!
For some, it's a day of dread. It's a reminder of a recent breakup or perhaps a longer period of aloneness. It might be met with a desire to go out in a large group and wear black (the evil opposite of Valentine's Day's official color of red), pop champagne, and celebrate their romance failures!
I have fallen into all of these categories over the years. I've gone heavy ($300 dinners, bracelets from Hermes, champagne and caviar), and I've gone deep (home cooking, love songs--yes, me singing--scary, and mediocre poetry), and I've gone solo (more of an apathy thing than any official protest--plus, I don't look that good in black). But I do recall watching the documentary "American Pimp" with my friend, John before going out for beers and open mic at the Irish bar back in 2007.
This year? I've got it pretty good. Dinner and a movie ... at home ... with a girl who looks like one you see in magazines :) I'm not even cooking--this is low stress. So, why am I talking about Valentine's Day today?
This morning I had an appraisal inspection just a little ways south in Mount Vernon. The battery in my camera died, and I walked back out to the car to grab my phone (which also has a built-in camera), and I started to talking to one of the neighbors. He was probably in his late 50s and out walking his dog. He had a lot of questions about the prices homes in the area he had lived for so many years because he was going to have to sell soon. At first I had figured he was a typical nosey neighbor.
By "have to" that is that he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. His home sits on a half-acre lot that requires a lot of maintenance, and he has a lot of other unfinished projects. He has to move so that his wife won't have to continue these chores (ones he loves, but that nobody else does) after he's gone.
I told him that I was also an agent, but that I would like to help him either way. That is, even if he had another agent, I would be happy to show him both numbers and take inventory of all his half-done projects to see which ones he might want to finish up before any kind of listing. I was surprised that he hadn't yet talked to anyone at all. His wife pulled around in her car and reminded him he needed to get ready to visit the doctor. I gave him my card and said goodbye.
Anyway, I started this blog out talking about Valentine's Day. You see, St. Valentine, among other things, was a healer. I didn't know this until recently. And here, out in the street, met only because of a dead battery, was a guy in need of healing. So ... for all of you guys out there with somebody ... and all of you alone ... remember how fortunate you are and how good you have it, and if it helps, remember St. Valentine the healer.