Love makes the world go 'round, or so they say. Real love, however, is quite difficult to define. Saying you're in love because someone of the opposite sex made your heart flutter, may be on the way, but it's not quite love. Neither are two people just having dinner in a fancy restaurant overlooking a moon-lit bay.


Nor is it about giving that special person of whom you've been smitten a dozen live roses just for the simple reason you think he or she is that special person who may have fallen for you (in the case of my wife, her favorite flower is a daisy. So really, a dozen roses, live or artificial, would do very little for her - or for that matter, me).


Love is more than all that. Much more. It's having the courtesy of opening a door for your special girl. It's joining your special guy at a hockey game, regardless of having to overcome any fear of getting smacked in the teeth by a wayward hockey puck. It's more, much more than either of you just being infatuated with one another.


Real love is more than 'Never having to say you're sorry!' That's why we set aside a special day each year to celebrate love. Love is what each of us know we can not live without.


Next Friday, Feb. 14, is that special day.


I know, I know. There are other days throughout the year when we can express our feeling toward the one we love. There's Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Sweetest Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Groundhog Day and St. Patrick's Day. Each one gives us another chance to let that certain someone in our life know how we really feel. But with the exception of Sweetest Day, we're playing them as second bananas, and not as the top of the card.


For example, at Thanksgiving the turkey comes first. Now who wants to play second fiddle to a turkey and feel loved? Mother's or Father's Day might work - that is if they are a mother or father. And Groundhog Day? Give me a break.


If I ever brought a dozen daisies home for my wife and said, “It's Groundhog Day and I thought of you,” the groundhog and I would be buried deep in its burrow, with little chance, if any, of spring ever arriving.


That's why we have a day set aside specifically for love. In the course of day to day living, with daily commitments and scheduling, we sometimes forget because we fail to write down these important dates. But now you can boast about how smart you really are by going to the calendar and, in red ink, marking Feb. 14 as the very special day that it is.


How important is love? Think about this.


A man's love for an extra large, full cup of piping, hot, McDonald's coffee each morning always brings him to his full senses. Cruising along on a bitter cold winter morning he glances to his right and sees a puppy, his four small paws frozen to the lake ice. Nearby is a small lad with tears running down his cheek. Without giving it a second thought, the man, an animal lover himself, reaches the poor helpless animal and pours steaming hot coffee on the ice, melting it and freeing the puppy. He picks up the shivering animal, wraps it in his jacket and hands it to the child.


“My Dad said I couldn't go out on the ice alone,” the lad told the man. “But I love my doggy so much, all I could do was pray.”


“Your dad was right, the man told the lad. And you were right for obeying him, and praying.”


The man's heart was filled with love to help another. It embodied the spirit of humanity. It's that same spirit that unites us, sets us free and fills us with love.


And sometimes, love is the most powerful prayer.


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