Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Core of Love

Chocolate covered strawberries are heavenly. Nothing like a dozen roses to bring some romance to an ordinary table. A bottle of wine is always welcome in my house. Cards with sentimental words certainly make me smile. Rarely will you hear me say, "No," when my husband says, "Let's go out to dinner."

All of these things are gifts we might receive from that someone special on the dreamy holiday we call Valentine's Day. But are they true symbols of love? For me, they're just fringe. Real gifts of love cannot be bought. They are how we treat the people we care about on a daily basis. Showing support during a tough time. Giving encouragement when feeling defeated. Sharing excitement on a special occasion. This was demonstrated so perfectly for me when I watched Gabrielle Gifford speak before the Congressional Committee on Gun Control two weeks ago with husband Mark Kelly by her side.

In the video below, I see three kinds of love immediately and I'm sure there are many more. First, the love Gabrielle must have for herself, her life, her husband, and her mission. We all remember that awful day two or three years ago, when she was shot in the forehead while greeting constituents in a strip mall parking lot, resulting in severe brain damage. She nearly died, couldn't speak, walk, eat, or move. Look at her now—absolutely beautiful. The work and dedication that led to this moment is amazing. So much love and congratulations to you this Valentine's Day Rep. Gifford.

Second is Gabrielle's husband, Mark Kelly. The adoration he feels for his wife is evident with each gesture, every glance, and a face full of pride. That is the core of love. Watch:

The third love I see is behind the scenes. Can you imagine how Gabrielle's speech-language pathologist felt as she watched this? Nancy Helm-Estabrooks is the professional Mark Kelly contacted soon after Gabrielle was shot. Nancy and her team have offered intense treatment since that time. I'm sure credentials were impressive, but I also have no doubt that the package came with devotion and love. The results are incredible.

              Nancy Helm-Estabrooks is the woman standing in the
I have to share this clip from The King's Speech, when King George VI's speech therapist coaches the stuttering king through a major speech. I bet Nancy Helm-Estabrooks can really relate to this.
The clip is a bit long, but take a moment to notice the love.

For me, this is what Valentine's Day is about. Thinking about the people I love: my husband, sons, parents, sister, brother, nieces, nephews, and sincere friends—all we have done to support one another through those good and bad times. There are far to many to mention here, but I'll be sure to thank them on this day for their steadfast loyalty and abiding love.

Happy Valentine's Day!   


"You will know you have found love when you meet someone who makes you feel strong instead of dependent, who appreciates you for the person you are and isn't threatened by your success, who supports you when you're down, takes pride in your accomplishments, and will hug you even after a difficult day. And it shouldn't take preparation, just a willingness to risk putting yourself out there and a little good luck."—Author Unknown


  1. Peggy, what a heart-warming and totally inspiring post for Valentine's Day. While the history itself is fascinating, there is nothing to compare with real-life heartfelt inspirations of love. You could not have selected any better tributes to share on this special day! Happy Valentine's Day to you and your family!

  2. Thanks Sharla. You and your family have a wonderful Valentine's Day too!

  3. Thank you, Peggy, for this touching post. I hadn't heard Rep. Gifford's speech before and it brought tears to my eyes. What courage it must have taken for her to get up in front of her former peers and state her views. She was definitely bolstered by her husband's love.

    There's a lot of love in this post and reading it made my day.

    1. So glad to hear Sandy! That little clip of Rep. Gifford certainly is a tear jerker. She is amazing!

  4. And Happy Valentine's Day to you too, Peggy! God bless you!

  5. Great post mom!!! One day I've got to go through and read all of these, I'm always impressed with how well written the few I've read are. Also thank you very much for the treats you left at my apartment :-) it was a nice surprise at the end of a long day. Anyways happy valentines day mommy!!!! I love you :-)

    1. You made my V day Gregger. Thanks for stopping by! Love...

  6. A Happy Valentine's Day to you as well, Peggy!! I loved this post!! Well done!

  7. Dearest Peggy - I'm so proud of you. You amaze me more each day
    with your beautiful words. As I look back on my life the greatest
    contributions I have given to this world are Peggy, Cathy, Nick and John. Bless you 3 that are still with me on earth and my dear
    John who watches over us from heaven. Happy Valentines day.(aday
    late). Love Mom

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Mom. Love You!!!

  8. Hi Peggy,

    Thank you for this. It was a reminder and an encourager. Hope you are fine.

  9. This was very emotional, Peggy. Thank you so much for sharing.

  10. I love that last quote. Good food for thought - and a great description of my husband!