Page 2 - Senior Times South Central Michigan February 2021 - 28-02
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Page 2 Senior Times - February 2021
By: Tim Mitchell, Senior Care Partners P.A.C.E.
  “Be my Valentine.” Undoubtedly, sometime
in your childhood you passed on a Valentine inscribed with those very words to that special someone with unbridled hope they would become the love of your life, or at least for a few weeks. Memories of those grade school crushes some- times are cradled in our memories for decades. The annual tradition was to give a Valentine to everyone in the classroom, but there probably was that one special person you secretly admired who was the recipient of the best Valentine in
the box you purchased from the store or possibly made yourself.
easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also con- tributed to an increase in the popularity of send- ing Valentine’s Day greetings.
 Have you ever wondered why the heart has become so closely associated with love and our deepest emotions? We often hear phrases such as, “My heart is broken” or, “My heart is heavy.” Or, on the positive side, “My heart is filled with joy” or, “You stole my heart.”
The origin of the shape of the Valentine “heart” is also interesting. The earliest depictions of the heart, dating back to the Middle Ages, were actually pine-cone-shaped and it wasn’t until the early years of the 14th century that the scalloped shape of the Valentine heart that we know today made its appearance. This heart shaped depiction was most likely based on the anatomy of birds and reptiles since they were the most commonly dissected forms of life at that time.
The late James Thurber, an American cartoon- ist and author, once said, “Love is what you’ve been through with somebody.” In one short sen- tence he captured the essence of real love, which goes far beyond just the giving of a Valentine. True love is forged in the foundry of life and it is cast in many molds. For some it’s a hug, a kiss, cuddling up in front of a fire, or simply having fun together. For others it’s helping your spouse or parent get dressed because he or she is no longer able to do that without assistance, feeding them dinner, helping them bathe, or reminding them of the names of their children, which they had forgotten because their mind has been rav- aged by dementia.
Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year, second only to Christmas.
 Helen Keller, as a deaf, blind, and mute person, appropriately said, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.”
But don’t all these emotions actually orig- inate from our brain? Yet, we don’t place our hand over our head when we recite the Pledge
of Allegiance. Instead, we place it over our heart with which we associate our most sincere feelings and emotions. Why is that? The most probable answer goes back thousands of years, prior to
the advancement of science, when the heart was thought to be responsible for emotions because a strong rush of emotion such as fear, anger, or love pumps adrenalin to the heart causing one to feel an accelerated heart rate. So, it is understandable that people, without scientific evidence, would conclude that organ, the heart, must be the origin of human feelings and emotions because that's what we feel beating rapidly during emotionally charged situaions.
The first non-medical illustration of a heart appeared in a drawing that accompanied the medieval French love poem Le Roman De
La Poire by Thibaut, written circa 1255. It is believed that the poem is the source of the idea that a person in love can “give” his or her heart to their beloved, the way the lover in the poem gives away a pear. Thus, began the tradition of the giving of the heart, which has evolved to the Valentine celebrations we know today.
Caregivers know the latter illustration of love very well. That’s when love reaches its pinnacle. When your loved one is no longer able to care
for himself or herself, love reaches out and lends a helping and caring hand for the duration of time. That aging person is your Valentine and you become his or hers.
 Americans probably began exchanging hand-made Valentines as early as the 1700s. Then, in the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced Valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate creations with lace, ribbons, and colorful pictures. It then became common for friends and lovers of all social class- es to exchange small tokens of affection or hand- written notes, and by 1900 printed cards began
to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an
Senior Care Partners P.A.C.E. is proud to work alongside these loving caregivers to assist them
in caring for their family member during a time when their love is exhibited as compassionate care. We are there to help your loved one remain safely in the home they love instead of being placed in a nursing home. To learn how we may be able to assist you in your expression of love to your family member, please call (269) 441-9319 or visit us at
   Experience the Senior Care Partners P.A.C.E. Difference!
• Physical and Occupational • Quality Medical Care • Socialization
Therapy Services • Social Services • Support for Caregivers
• Safety in the Home
Call us to find out if Senior Care Partners P.A.C.E. is right for you or someone you love - (269) 441-9319
   200 W. Michigan Ave, Ste 103, Battle Creek, MI • 445 W. Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo, MI • 800 E. Milham Ave, Portage, MI • 290 B Drive North, Albion, MI

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