Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and I imagine that boyfriends, partners and husbands everywhere are anxiously awaiting the end of those pesky jewelry and floral delivery ads bombarding them at every turn.
Commercialism aside, there is nothing wrong with taking a day to celebrate the people in your life that you love. And if that includes a special senior, don’t delay.
Two days before my grandmother died, I thought about giving her a call just to say hello (plus I loved hearing her Brooklyn-Italian accent). Instead I thought, “She’ll be around,” and decided not to call. I had a lot of guilt to sort through after that experience, and now I make certain that when special people, especially older people, are brought to mind, I do something about it. ASAP. Whether it’s Valentine’s Day or not.
Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to show love. This year, I challenge you to break out of the heart-shaped box and show love in a new way. Here are a few ideas to get you started…
New Way to Show Love #2 — Create a (digital or physical) keepsake box.
Put a few treasured items together (photos, letters, trinkets, ticket stubs) with a special person in mind. Deliver the keepsake box when you feel the time is right (you can reminisce about the items together, or allow the person to enjoy perusing them on her own), or include instructions about the box’s intended recipient in your will.
If you prefer to do it digitally, a new company, iLivediLoved, will securely store the keepsake box (filled with your photos, audio recordings, home videos, and personal letters) so that, even after you’ve passed away, your loved ones can access the memories you wanted to share with them. “iLivediLoved is all about giving people the chance to be remembered the way they want to be remembered,” says Kristin Mick, iLivediLoved’s co-founder. Another plus: the digital treasure box can be shared for generations to come.
In a prior post, we wrote about P.S. I Love You Letters, a company that offers another new way of showing love to your family members: through handwritten letters that will only be delivered after you’ve passed away. Imagine reading a letter from a beloved family member a few weeks after their death. I have the chills just thinking about it.
New Way to Show Love #3 — Show random acts of kindness.
Showing love to strangers is a good way to foster the expression of love in your own family. So this year, why not buy a dozen roses for your neighbor who recently lost her husband? Or bring chocolates to an assisted living resident who doesn’t get regular visitors? If you have young children or grandchildren, make an activity of creating your own valentines to hand-deliver to a local women’s shelter or charity organization of their choosing (check out our friend and self-dubbed “granny nanny” Kaye Swain’s blog, SandwichINK, for artistic inspiration).
Your turn: How will you show love in a new way, either on or beyond February 14th?