As I sit and ponder the thought of this day, St. Valentine’s Day, I am amazed at how it has become so commercialized. It is like everyone has to get flowers, chocolates, and make plans to attend dinner somewhere romantic. But many don’t know that this feast of love, has to do first, with death.

Saint Valentine was martyred on February 14. In the Catholic Church the celebration of a saint is done on the death of the saint, their “birth” or "new life" into heaven. But then, which one? According to the Catholic Church there are a dozen saints know as St. Valentine.  So why is Valentine’s Day so important?

Since the early Middle Ages when Geoffrey Chaucer penned the first known recorded association of this day, it has been linked with love and romance. But what is love?

Is it all about the kissy-kissy display of affection that Hallmark cards would tend to have us believe?

No.

What it is all about is showing love. Not the smooching in public or holding hands kind of love, but the kind of love that is shown when no one is looking – and I’m not talking about sex.

It is about letting the one you love who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s cut the grass or plow the driveway. It is about not limiting the abilities present. It is about appreciating when can be done, not what can’t be done. And it is also about letting that loved one show that they are concerned when they are not sure if you can do something.

My journey with Parkinson’s, my "new life", may limit the amount of work around the house that I do, but it doesn’t limit my desire to do it. I am so appreciative of what I can do and that my wife allows me to do it. That is why I made her a Valentine’s card this year instead of buying one of Hallmark’s creations.

She knows about how difficult it was for me to grasp the paper it was written on. She’ll look at the not-so-neat penmanship and know that it truly came from my heart and that my struggle to make it neat is evidence that the heart is one muscle that won’t let Parkinson’s affected it.

I know my wife will treasure it for the rest of our life together.