Happy Valentine's Day. And if you'll allow me a bit of self-congratulations, happy blogiversary to me, too. It just so happened to be Valentine's Day last year when I started this little blog-thing.
I don't exactly care for doing the expected thing, so instead of going on a long tirade about how ridiculous Valentine's Day is, or getting all mushy about the people I love, I thought I'd tell about my best Valentine's Day ever. It's probably not what you expect.
My junior year in high school, the AIDS awareness group I was involved in was invited to attend the Ryan White National Youth Conference. I know Valentine's Day is supposed to be the holiday of love, but the outpouring of love I witnessed at that conference was amazing. It didn't matter if you were living with HIV/AIDS, if you were, like me, someone who had lost a family member to the disease, or if you were just someone who cared enough to help. Whatever motivation had brought you there, you were family. There were people from all walks of life and all backgrounds. I don't think I've ever seen such acceptance.
I met several people that week who I laughed with, cried with, and learned with. As usually happens (especially with busy high schoolers), when we went home and back to our regular lives we ended up losing contact, but for that one Valentines's Day, we were family.