Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentines Day! February 14, 2017

How did it happen that their lips came together?
How does it happen that birds sing, 
that snow melts, that the rose unfolds?
A kiss, and all was said.
~Victor Hugo

Happy Valentine's Day today! This is a day for wonderful celebrations of love when we lift up the joy of a simple kiss. This particular holiday could not be more appropriate for our Shepard family these days, because these are difficult times. I'm not talking about political drama. I am talking about life in our family in recent months.

The last year has been one of the most difficult years ever for us Shepards. All families go through periods of difficulty, times when things are tough, and when family relationships experience some strain. All of us can remember occasions when a particular family member was having a hard time, or when someone lost their job, or when a divorce occurred, or when some other stressful situation created strain on the entire family.

But this past year our family has been shaken like never before. My mom has developed some memory issues which have required some reordering of our family life, and it has been difficult as we have sought to adjust. It has led to some challenging conflicts within our ranks. For these reasons it seems appropriate to share the following video. We need this. It is about love and affection, which seem to be in short supply right now.

The video below includes some images you have seen before, but most of them are pictures you have probably never seen. The new pictures include a young couple in Texas, some youngsters smooching in Seattle, a grandmother in Oklahoma, lovers embracing in Paris, and much more. All these images show family members doing what they do best: loving one another. Thanks to all of you who made these pictures available and who had the joy of taking them!

As Time Goes By. Let this video be our reminder that Valentines Day holds the key to our future as a family. After all, choosing to love is our only hope. This YouTube video is set to the music of Queen Latifah and Rod Stewart, singing "As Time Goes By."


Show me the love. For the last couple of years I have given a "Show Me The Love" award on Valentine's Day to a member of our family from our past who exemplified love in their life. Yesterday was a day of remembrance for one of our family members who is no longer with us, my cousin Gloria Harrell Watson, who died 11 months ago. 
Gloria grew up in San Diego with the other 11 grandchildren of Leroy and Nola Gower. But she lived her adult life in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she died last March. 

Back in the late 1990s -- some 20 years ago -- when our Grandmother Nola Gower was in her 90s, she had knee replacement surgery. Gloria came to San Diego from Tennessee to be with Grandmother through her surgery. It was an act of love with which I was impressed. So this year the "Show Me The Love" award goes to Gloria, for her generosity of time and expense to travel all that way to be with Grandma Gower in her time of need. It was just one more act of kindness that led to her family's decision to bury Gloria in Greenwood Cemetery in San Diego alongside Grandma Gower.
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Steve Shepard

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