It’s the one day of the year specifically for being in love – which we either dread or look forward to.

For some it can be a reminder of lost loves, relationships you wished you had, glad you don't have – or simply the harsh reality that one really is a lonely number.

When we’re young, love didn't need to be defined. We could fall in love as quickly as we could call it quits. Young love is fueled by the flitter-flutter of the heart, smooth talkers and the constant need to be together. Some, who’ve been married for more than a couple of years, look at young love and think they’ve lost the ability to still have that spark. When the conversations go flat and the entertainment consists of sitting in front of the TV, sometimes it’s hard not to think the love is gone.

When I was approaching middle age, I began to realize being in love can be risky business. Divorce and broken relationships had caused me to overanalyze myself and wonder if I could sustain a true relationship. I wanted some definite signs of what true love is, but in reality, what is true love.

Even though love is the strongest emotion, have no doubt, hate is just as strong and maybe even stronger, if you give in to it. It’s astonishing the number of couples who committed themselves to each other just to end up being bitter enemies. The one person you swore to love forever becomes the one person you never want to speak to again.

Dad used to say, "Love is the curse that is the cure."

It only took half of my life, but I have actually seen the defining moments of love. It's not just the words "I love you." It's his everyday actions that tell me it's the real deal. Just the little things like turning up the furnace when he sees me looking for a blanket, having one flat tire and wanting me to be safe so he replaces all four, just knowing when I’m in a mood and leaving me alone or being just as silly as I can be at times. Just simply being there for me, sharing a smile, sharing sadness, sharing life is the true definition of love.

Between eight grown children and seven grandchildren he makes the time to talk to listen, to talk, and to care – which gives me the feelings of comfort, security and trust; and that is love.

Instead of giving him a valentine's card or buying him something he really doesn't need or want, I am giving him my heart because he has shown me what true love acts like.

To my Valentine – I love you.

Sandy Turner lives in Independence. Email her at sandydownhome@hotmail.com.