A letter for my valentine
What you need to know:
- There are many ways to express love to those we cherish. Austin, Carol and Juliet decide to declare their love to their spouses in these romantic letters...
- Valentine's Day seems to have been first commercialised in America where lovers developed a popular habit of gifting each other handwritten cards.
- In the Kenyan context, the Men’s Conference which started in a similarly comical fashion as men decried the over-commercialised nature of Valentine’s Day, is now turning into a reality as event organisers cook up interesting gatherings for men to discuss their issues.
There are many ways to express love to those we cherish. Austin, Carol and Juliet decide to declare their love to their spouses in these romantic letters...
Dear Ms Carolyne,
Hello, how is your day so far? Uneventful, I guess.
As I sit here and reflect, I wish I could journey into your mind and know exactly what it is you are thinking. I know that I don’t normally do this and that I had sung along to the catchy tune “si valentine’s nikuweke archives pale kwa TV”, but well, here we are….even better, right? There is too much to write about, but I will try to make it brief.
I have known you for more than half my life ever since that wonderful day we met in KU, Zoology laboratory. Captivated by your beauty, I made the move, though not successfully, I am glad persistence and resilience carried the day. And now, look how far we’ve come. Naïve I was, fresh in matters of love.
I am glad you stood by me through this journey of self-realization, and together we have come a long way. Most of it had to do with your unrelenting personality, the consistency and persistence even when I was seemingly an impossibility.
Years later, I always marvel at what we have become, the hills and valleys we walked to get here. Three children later, you are still the woman after my very heart, and me, the man after yours. Through the challenges of raising a beautiful family, you have remained ruthlessly focussed, and for that, I am proud of you; something I don’t say nearly enough.
It is my prayer that we will remain steadfast, and unwavering in the journey that is life. Through it all, I must admit, I am glad to have you by my side. It’s a blessing to do life with you. To many more years, happy valentines love.
Dear sweetheart Joel Mugendi,
How are you doing today? As l write this letter, l know that you are out there working hard to make sure we get a good life. l thank you, honey, for your tireless efforts.
It’s 17 years since we met my love. We started as good friends, and you became my best friend, then my lover, and now my sweetheart. With you, honey, l feel like the luckiest woman on planet earth. Your love and support assure me, l can achieve any goal in life. I have a long list of things I’d like to thank you for, but words are not enough to express my gratitude.
You changed my identity from Miss to Mrs and I will always be grateful for that. Thank you for choosing to make me your wife, and a mother to our lovely children, and making me the queen of your heart. You are my world. Thank you for the countless times you’ve put a smile on my face.
Your hugs warm my heart sweetheart. And You are the reason l believe in love. Thank you for standing by me especially when l needed you the most. Every time I have gone to deliver our babies you never left me alone in labour wards. You always made sure you are the first to hold our babies. May God bless you for having a golden heart.
I love you so much, you are the love of my life and l promise to keep on being submissive to you and to honour you. You are my best friend, my shield, my pillar, my inspiration and l love you so much.
From your loving wife,
To my valentine, Boniface Chege,
Dear sweetheart, when I met you 20 years ago and married you two years later I didn’t know that I found love, on that Sunday afternoon 23/10/2003...it was love at first sight as you crushed on me and until now we are still crushing.
I met you when I was in the midst of planning to relocate to the USA -North Carolina to be specific but your love for me changed my mind and instead I accepted your proposal to get married and start a family.
At first, I wasn’t sure about you but you convinced me that you love me and you will always do. I respect you because true to your words and promises eighteen years of marriage you have kept it that way!!
You are my answered prayers because even before we meet or got married, I used to pray to God that when I eventually get married, I would get a husband like you who would love me and respect me for life. I love your zeal for God, your genuine personality and the way you stay true to your words.
Whatever you say you keep it that way and you don’t fake anything to impress anyone. Your honesty attracted me to you and the kind of respect that you have is amazing. Doing life with you for the last eighteen years has been amazing…we have had fun, cried together, made babies and done so much more together including travelling which is my hobby.
Over the years I have learned a lot from you-you have taught me to love even those who might have accused us falsely. Not to forget your cooking and catering skills which you have taught me. And on those days when I was too tired or in the last trimesters of my pregnancies when you helped me in the kitchen or the surprise treats during my birthdays and many other occasions- I do not take these efforts for granted.
How can I forget the memories we’ve made together, one of my favourites was when you took me for a road trip to Lake Bogoria and we talked about our future as you boiled eggs for me at the lake.
Woow!! that was romantic...and during our 16th Wedding Anniversary when you asked me to go to town in the evening only to find that you had planned a candle-lit romantic dinner where we renewed our vows.
When I look at you, I see an Angel sent from heaven just for me. Ever since I met you, my life changed for the better. You have added immeasurable value to me. From taking me to college to walking down the aisle with me and making me your wife and a mother.
When I look at our four babies together, I am overwhelmed by happiness. Am thankful because you are a present father to our children, even when you are working, if it happens that I need your attention because of one reason or another you gladly pay attention, thank you for being a relentless provider, especially now that I no longer works because I have to take care of our Precious due to her special needs.
You always check my hair to make sure it’s kept. You are a good example to our children such that even the youngest already says when he grows up he wants to be like you. Thank you for showing our children the way, teaching them good manners and leadership and taking us to church. And through all that, you are still the same man I met 18 years ago.
Our future looks brighter. I love doing life with you and if I was to marry you again and again, I wouldn’t hesitate. As we continue raising our family, I would like you to know that I really love you and appreciate you from the deepest part of my heart.
I promise to continue supporting your vision, to be a good mother to our children and above all to continue being a submissive wife. I will always be your friend and you can count on me when you are down my shoulder is always there for you.
I’m thankful for the 18 years I’ve shared with you. Cheers to many more.
From your love for life,
History of Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s day has a long mysterious and complicated history that has morphed through the centuries.
Historians trace St. Valentine’s Day to the fifth century when Pope Gelasius I who headed the Catholic Church in Rome from AD 492 to AD 496, passed on.
He is believed to have declared February 14th as the official St. Valentine’s Day. It is not clear whether Valentine was one person or two people who lived in ancient Rome under the Reign of Emperor Claudius 11.
When love wins
One of the tales about St. Valentine features a Roman priest who lived in the 3rd century when Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage. The emperor believed that single men performed well when sent to war compared to married men, thus he forbade all men from getting married.
But the said priest continued to join love birds in holy matrimony leading to his eventual arrest. Yet another tale hints that St. Valentine’s, whoever he was, got arrested for refusing to denounce his Christian faith and while in jail, he healed the jailer’s daughter of blindness and they became good friends. And right before he was executed, he wrote the young woman or girl a letter signed, “your valentine” a common term used in the modern-day celebration of Valentine’s Day.
A little coincidence
But one has to wonder, how this Roman celebration spread around the world. Well, before the declaration by Pope Gelasius, it is believed that the Romans had a strange Pagan holiday for fertility and matchmaking celebrated between the 13th and 15th of February.
But due to its barbaric nature, the pope replaced it with St. Valentine’s day as the church became more dominant. In later years, Europe began to recognise February as the month of love after keen observers noticed that birds chose their “partners” and mated during this month.
Given the widespread nature of the Christian religion, these celebrations got mixed up and by time the rest of the world caught on, Valentine’s Day became the day we commemorate love.
The day seems to have been first commercialised in America where lovers developed a popular habit of gifting each other handwritten cards. But as printing technologies advanced, people started buying readily printed cards with love messages. It is not clear when flowers and chocolates became part of the gifting or when the colour red began to symbolise love.
What about the singles?
The biggest concern, as of now, is that Valentine’s day is extremely commercialised, leading to the rise of dissenting voices. The unofficial celebration of Singles Awareness Day (SAD), for instance, comes right after Valentine’s Day as single people grapple to regain their relevance. SAD started as a comical movement that has grown through the years.
In the Kenyan context, the Men’s Conference which started in a similarly comical fashion as men decried the over-commercialised nature of Valentine’s Day, is now turning into a reality as event organisers cook up interesting gatherings for men to discuss their issues.
Valentine’s Day has many nuances but the bottom line is love. It’s a celebration that has fought for relevance through the years and emerged victorious as the centuries go by. And for sure, love is patient, it endures and it proves itself worthy, in the end.
If we were to set the chocolates, the overpriced dinners and the flowers aside and get back to the basics, it’s about the little acts of love that win. Small and big statements like “thank you,” or “God bless you” as well as sharing your time with someone and giving them a shoulder to cry on, compound to form what we know as love.
And that is why DN2 Parenting took it back to the basics, this month of love. We invited three couples to appreciate their partners with beautiful letters that summarise their love story. And truly, they proved that love deserves to be celebrated and most importantly, the people who make us feel special deserve a big “thank you” every once is a while.
From Austin who met his partner at a lab in KU, to Juliet whose husband showed up every single day, morning and evening for six months when she and one of their children was hospitalised and Carol who was on her way to the USA before love changed the course of her life and she went on to create the most beautiful memories with her husband- don’t we all think these stories deserve to be celebrated?
Compiled by Syovata Ndambuki