Mr. Carrs Valentines Party was the day I had waited for all of my Fifth Grade school year. It took me days to weave my construction paper heart mail reciprocal. My ten year old hands repeated the rhythm of pink and red pink and red over and under until it was complete. The smell of Elmer’s glue and paper pulp filled my nose as I anticipated all the love that my little Valentines holder would hold. With care and extra tape I attached it to the back of the chair at my desk and waited.

When the school day had one more hour left the door to our classroom opened and suddenly A mom brigade burst onto the scene. Armed with popcorn balls, jello jigglers and baked goods of many sorts they brought the party and the party had begun. I remained calm and cool to not let me emotions overrule me but on the inside I was leaping with joy. I readied myself with my handwritten notes of encouragement and began placing them in each of my classmates Valentines holder. I had been precise in picking the very best Valentines card for each individual classmate and I had been precise in what I wrote on each one. I had to think long and hard of what to say to the school yard bully but even she should not be without a card.

The Three o’clock bell rang and it was time to clean up the party and get on the bus for home. And just like that the anticipation and the joy of the party was over and real life began again. The yellow bus smelled like sweat and sugar and was a lively ride. It took about 15 minutes to get home from Gardnerville Elementery School and the entire time I guarded those Valentines that sat upon my lap as if they were gold because they actually were worth more than gold to me.

Off the bus I jumped with my cards in one hand and the key to my house in the other. I opened the front door of 1513 Wildrose drive and straight like a rocket I proceeded to my room. I shut the door kicked off my shoes and sat on the floor with my Valentines and I began to read and re-read them. In those tender moments a voice in my spirit said to my ten year old self “you are truly loved.” I was loved and that wasn’t something I felt every day but today I had 20 or so little notes to prove it. I even got a valentine from the bully. As I collected the cards and put them back in the construction paper reciprocal I spotted another valentine I hadn’t seen when I came into my room. It was on the pillow of my single bed a big red foil wrapped marshmallow heart with a big grown up sized card, it was from my mom she had left it there before she went to work. I quickly opened that big ol’ marshmallow heart and ate it as I treasured reading over each word of my mothers card. I was truly loved.

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10

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