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Remembered roses

Valentine’s Day is approaching, with all the attendant symbols…Cupids, hearts, and bouquets. Perhaps this is why lately I find myself thinking about roses.

There are three roses that stand out in my memory: one was given to me to say thank you, one to say sorry, one to say Happy Birthday. All three were pink, because pink ones are my favourite and the givers knew this. All three came with no tender sentiments or declarations of devotion, but with great affection and respect.

A friend of mine, a father of daughters, observes with some worry that boys nowadays don’t seem to know how to treat girls properly. I would venture to say that perhaps part of the problem is that some girls don’t demand or even expect better behaviour from their male friends.

I count myself blessed that all the men in my life, from my grandfathers down, knew how to treat women right. I grew up knowing I deserved to be treated like a lady, with affection and with respect, and gravitated naturally towards boys – and later, men – who understood this.

It’s a lesson that needs almost no words, because it’s most powerfully imparted by a father’s tangible love for his wife, and his combined gentleness and strength in his dealings with his children.

I wish all girls could be so lucky, and sadly know that a lot of them aren’t, so I have only this advice to give. Girls, please don’t be fooled by the counterfeit that modern society calls love. And don’t think that you need to debase yourself in order to be esteemed.

And during this amorous time of year, when people tend to get a little carried away, remember that romance is like a lightning flash – intense, but pretty short-lived. True love lasts a lifetime, and can even be stronger than death. Until you find a love like that, you’ll want and need real friends to stand by you. And if you never find love here on earth, you’ll still have those friends. Just because friendship isn’t passionate doesn’t mean it’s any less strong, or any less real.

In the end, I won’t be remembering dozens of red roses…just three pink ones.

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