It’s Valentine’s day this week but I don’t think the florists and restaurants are going to be that busy—at least not as busy as previous years.
Many couples will choose to go low-key, because of the nCoV19 virus that’s been spreading on our shores.
For the hub and I, this will be our 15th Valentine’s day together. Not that we are big on celebrating it, we’d never splash out on an expensive dinner just because it’s V-day, but I do insist ask that he bring home a small trinket each year. Whether it’s chocolate, a small bouquet of flowers, or a special meal (so I don’t have to cook up a sweat), it’s just a little something to remind him that he still needs to pursue me, to make an effort now and then, even though I’m legally and lovingly his wife.
This year will be pretty special. Well, we’re definitely staying home…because he’s arranged to meet an ID at our place to talk about the design of our new home.
When I found out, I wasn’t mad. But I said sarcastically: “Oh so clever, like that we don’t need to celebrate.”
To which he replied: “I think it’s romantic.”
To be honest, just like how the CNY mood quickly dissipated into the air when news of the virus hit our media (and minds), it may be hard to conjure up lovey-dovey feelings this week, as we hunker down and prepare ourselves for when the spread gets worst.
Since we can’t go out on dates (well unless you count walking out to the hawker centre to get takeaway a date), we are going to make use of the time we have at home to:
- Plan for our new home
- Read books (I’ve downloaded The Handmaid’s Tale and The Meaning of Marriage into Overdrive)
- Ask each other questions (like these or these)
- Create a bucket list of places/things we’d like to do and visit
- Play more board games with the kids (our hot favourites currently are Organ Attack, Monopoly Deal, and Go Nuts for Donuts.
- Do devotionals regularly at night (we use ODB’s Give Us This Day, kindly gifted to us by Susan from A Juggling Mom. You can also request a copy online.)
If like us, you’re planning to keep it simple this Valentine’s weekend, here are some small but meaningful acts of love you can consider:
- Plant a kiss on his cheek before he leaves for work
- Sneak a card into his briefcase
- Cook him a nice steak (or whatever he likes) for dinner/pack a surprise dinner and let her have a break from the kitchen
- Gather everyone into the room for a movie (yes this year, the kids will get to experience Valentine’s day with us)
- Watch your tongue and use more affirming words, while reducing critical or harsh words
- Take care of the meals/laundry/housework without complaining
- Go for a leisurely walk at the park if weather permits
- Light some candles or open a bottle of wine, just because
I started out writing about marital love, but in thinking about the virus and human behaviour I’m now inclined to talk about a different kind of love—the kind of love that sees (people’s needs) and serves.
- The hospital staff who are tirelessly serving the needs of their patients and their family members.
- The security people working hard to guard the entry into office buildings and schools.
- The teachers who while constantly worried that they may get exposed to the virus, choose to place the needs of their students ahead of themselves.
- The mums and dads who try to secure groceries and other goods in a bid to ensure their families get fed. (Particularly those who refrain from going overboard and get just enough or a bit more.)
- The common folk like you and I who are just trying in our own little ways to remain calm and spread calm.
They say that laughter is good medicine. But at such a time as this, love is an even stronger medicine.
And this love, it begins with our words and actions at home.
You may have heard of the famous passage on love in 1 Corinthians 13. Here’s a little twist on it in light of our times.
Love is patient (when you have to stop to take temperature). Love is kind. It does not envy others who have masks. It does not hoard food supplies it doesn’t need. It does not tell medical workers to not board the bus. It stays home if it has been given Leave of Absence or if feeling unwell. It brings food to those around who are in need.
It is not rude, not self-seeking, not easily angered.
Love does not delight in hearing there are patients in critical condition, but rejoices when even one of them recovers fully.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.