Growing Love as We Grow Older

~ By Jennifer Christensen

It’s Valentine’s Day and love is in the air. For some this conjures up images of high-school sweethearts or cartoon characters kissing against a Technicolor sunset. We may remember cutting out red paper hearts and gluing them together with paper doilies and glitter to present to our favorite teacher, classmate or parent

As we get older, our image and understanding of love evolves as well. In middle age, our families and communities expand as we raise children, grow our careers and serve  in our communities. Later in life, particularly after the death of a spouse, relationships with family, friends and neighbors take on a greater role in our lives. Even the love of our four-legged friends can bring a special joy to our hearts.

Valentine’s Day is a great time to express love to those around you. You might be surprised at what comes back to you! Perhaps you can pick up the phone and call a childhood friend or take a moment to express appreciation to the people you interact with every day. A quick smile or a warm touch reminds us that we are valued. Studies show that those who “love” lead longer, happier, more fulfilled lives. Today we can celebrate a love that is both wider and deeper than the greeting card images of our youth.



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