Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Love defined on Valentine’s Day February 14, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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This fabric heart, crafted by one of my children in elementary school, hangs on my back door.


AS A TEEN, I clipped Love is… cartoons from the newspaper and tacked them onto my bright yellow smiley face bulletin board in my lime green and partially paneled basement bedroom with the candy stripe carpet. I found the cutesy cartoon created by Kim Casali dreamy in the context of a dreamy teen.


I have several vintage valentines from my mom’s collection and have displayed them for Valentine’s Day.


Above my twin bed, I also taped a black-and-white poster photo of Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw, stars in the 1970 movie, Love Story. Oh, how I loved that movie of love and tragedy and a rather feisty Jennifer Cavelleri who used shocking words like bulls**t.

Back then I believed the famous Love Story line: Love means never having to say you’re sorry. That, my friends, is BS.


I created a love vignette on a chest of drawers in my dining room. Included are this wood cut-out, wedding photos and vintage and homemade valentines.


After 36 years of marriage, I’ve learned the importance of apologizing. And I’ve learned that love deepens and widens and grows with each shared experience. Good and bad. Love bends. Love changes. Love listens, understands, forgives, encourages, supports, serves.


Friends who moved from Faribault to near Fargo crafted and mailed this cute owl valentine to us.


That definition extends to all who love each other, whether as partners, friends, family.

Love is care and compassion and kindness. It is being there through the joys and the challenges. It is also exercising self-control—clamping your lips, stopping your fingers from sending a hurtful text or email… It is about calling a friend or family member who needs support. It’s about asking, “How are you?” and really meaning it.


A snippet of the valentine my 22-month-old granddaughter, with the help of her mama, crafted for me and her grandpa. I love it.


This Valentine’s Day, I hope we can all be a little kinder to one another. I hope we can show love in ways that extend beyond chocolate and flowers and dinner out. I hope we can truly be there for one another in ways that surpass some Hollywood version of love. I hope we can listen and believe and care. I hope we can love how we were meant to love.

Happy Valentine’s Day, dear readers. I value and appreciate you.

© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


20 Responses to “Love defined on Valentine’s Day”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    Love you, Audrey! Have a wonderful day!

  2. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day 💞 reading between your words and hearing “love is patient, Love is kind…”

  3. Kathleen Cassen Mickelson Says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day, Audrey. This is a beautiful post and I agree – Love means you do sometimes say you’re sorry, along with many other honest, supportive words that matter a great deal and come with actions that demonstrate those words every day.

    • Yes, actions must match words.

      I use that “test” of actions matching words to decipher truth sometimes. I’m not referencing in relationship with my husband, but in an overall general context. It works. Lies and deception unmask when actions/behavior differ from words.

  4. Judy M Says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day. I hope you have a good day.

  5. Marilyn Wren Says:

    Thank you for this. Our country seems to have been given a signal that it’s okay to be hateful and mean to each other. I’ve noticed it in myself and joined the crowd in being “politically incorrect”. But I’m getting tired of all the hatred and want to go back to seeing the good in life. I like your reminder that there is love all around us if we look for it.


  6. Valerie Says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day, and sunny day, and Ash Wednesday too.

  7. Excellent post Audrey. Your descriptions of love are wonderful!

  8. Jackie Says:

    Happy valentines Day dear friend.

  9. Wisdom and beauty on Valentines Day!

  10. Bella Says:

    Hope you had a wonderful day and and the thought of all of us being a little kinder is such a simple act and could make such a difference .

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