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Happy Valentine’s Day! Some legends say that the original Valentine was a third century priest who lived in Rome, who was imprisoned and eventually killed when he refused to stop performing marriages (Emperor Claudius II had outlawed marriage for young men who were soldiers). Still others say that Valentine fell in love with a girl who visited him in prison, and he wrote her letters, signing them “from your Valentine.” Thus began the highly popular giving of valentines.
Realists claim that any two people can live together in peace and harmony if they’ll just practice enough kindness, patience, and understanding. They’re probably right, but something in the hearts of us romantic fools yearns deeply for True Love. Have you ever got to the end of a love story, and with a big grin on your face you sigh and say, “Ahh! Now that was a good story!”
One of my favorite love stories is the satirical romantic comedy, The Princess Bride, by William Goldman. It was produced as a movie in 1987 and became a classic favorite and is still highly quoted. (My kids have the entire movie memorized.) I love the part where Miracle Max asks the ‘mostly dead’ Westley, “Hey! Hello in there, what’s so important? Whatcha got here, that’s worth living for?” and Westley says, “ True…love..”
And then there’s the part where Westley tells his true love, “I told you I would always come for you. Why didn’t you wait for me?” Buttercup says, “Well… you were dead.” Westley says, “Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.” And Buttercup says, “I will never doubt again.”
Another one of my favorites is the 1979 movie A Little Romance, based on the novel E=mc2 Mon Amour by Patrick Cauvin. Two young teens meet in Paris and fall in love. Daniel, an intelligent but poor French boy, knows he has found his soul mate in Lauren, who is attending school in Paris, and who is from a wealthy, self-absorbed American family. The odds are definitely stacked against them. But then they befriend an old man named Julius (starring Lawrence Olivier) who tells Daniel and Lauren they should go to Venice and seal their love forever with a kiss beneath the Bridge of Sighs at sunset. And so begins their adventure.
For this Valentine’s Day, I would like to pay tribute to my husband, who has been my one true love since we met in college. For 35 years he has shared my sorrows, endured the bad times, and rejoiced with me in the good times. He claims he is not romantic, but he is also the man who left a dozen red roses on my windshield the night I took my daughter and her friends to see Twilight. He is the man who changed his vacation plans and moved heaven and earth so we could be in Venice at sunset, and kiss in a gondola under the Bridge of Sighs. He’s also the man who endured a zombie romance movie just for me. Now that’s true love!
Happy Valentine’s Day! What are your favorite love stories?

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