Your mother said I should write something for Valentine’s Day. I haven’t been writing as much as I used to, but for good reason: We are busy getting ready for your arrival, now nearly two months away. Rest assured, you have certainly made your presence known!
There is no doubt you already are your own person — biologically and spiritually. The tests, the ultrasounds, not to mention all that Mommy has undergone to make sure you are getting everything you need. Your presence, even though I can’t really see or feel you, has already put new thoughts into my mind, tearing me away from selfish thoughts to ensuring as best I can we will give you a loving home.
Marriage and family — two of the most fundamental pillars of life. As least that’s what I heard, as a theory. Not until embarking on that adventure myself did I see the truth in that theory, even if by far they are the most challenging parts of life. You will not go a day in your life when you don’t hear the word “love,” especially on the feast of Saint Valentine. Yet never has a word been so misused. Love may conquer all, but it is not an easy road.
Your grandparents celebrated each wedding anniversary on their wedding day — nearly 40 of them — and I hope you see that we try to do the same. Two lives, two souls, came together that day, fulfilling a vocation... a “vocation to love.” That isn’t my wording, but rather that of a wise old man named Pope Benedict. The full quote is, “The vocation to love makes the human person an authentic image of God.”
Beautiful... but how does he know that? Well, watching you literally grow from infinitesimal size to now a few pounds, there is really no other explanation. I think God wanted to share his love, his creations, with his children. So he created us, and, you. So when we look at you, no matter how small, Mommy and Daddy are looking not only at each other in you, but all of our ancestors. And beyond — into the light of God’s love, which you will radiate just by being you.
Maybe you’re wondering, Why should this be so hard and difficult? Why is fulfilling our vocation to love tougher than anything else? There’s a little move called The Weather Man that I think best sums up why: “Do you know that the harder thing to do and the right thing to do are usually the same thing?”
There will be many peaks and valleys throughout life. You can count on it, though, that one thing will never change: the solid foundation that is your parents, your childhood home, built on the piers of marriage and openness to life, above the bedrock that is the love of Almighty God.
In the era before the phone called out directions for me in the car, I was once lost. When that happened, as was frequently the case, I called home. Your Grandpa answered, as I knew he would. He was my GPS, my Siri: using the map on his computer, he guided me to where I needed to go.
You can bet we will always be there for you. No matter where or when. Yes, there will be peaks and valleys, trials and temptations. But some things won’t change. Like a family’s love.
We can’t wait to meet you, our little Valentine.
Mommy and Daddy
James Day is the Operations Manager at EWTN in Orange County, California.