A Valentine Wish

Previous related post, Yesterday, Feb. 5.  additional Post re Ukraine et al Feb. 16, here.


Happy Valentine’s Day, Monday.  Six days to surgery.

One additional post earlier this week, Welcoming Afghans Feb 11.

We attended Friday’s Minnesota Orchestra program, and it was phenomenal, especially  the final piece, the original 44 minute reading of Stravinsky’s “The Firebird”.  Orchestra and conductor earned the ovation they received.  (The You Tube rendition from 2011 by the Vienna Symphony can be watched here.  The Minnesota Orchestra program about Composer Igor Stravinsky is here: Stravinsky.)  (See Postnote below as well.)


Valentine’s Day is tomorrow.

As I was listening to the orchestra Friday night, I looked through the program booklet for February, to see if there was anything with a Valentine’s Day theme.  The closest I came was a marvelous Essay “Washing for the New Year,” by Mao Kalia Yang, a tribute to the Chinese New Year, which began Feb. 1.  The Essay is here: Washing for the New Year.  It is a single page, concluding with this: “That in all the bitterness of the world there remains: a source of sweetness in our lives, love.  Always the love, first and last, a love that lasts”.

That’s a powerful Valentine wish for all of us.

Personally, acknowledging the deep dysfunction in which we live these days, what this boils down to for me is that all of us, wherever we live on this planet, are part of a single community which is ours, not mine, not them (whoever that is), or any artificial divisions.  Our contemporary society, seems easily led to revere competition over cooperation, to the detriment of us all.

Today is the ultimate and annual example of our national top priority: the Super Bowl, this year, LVI.  Tomorrow, someone will have won…but what?  And for how long will it endure?

LVI?  That’s 56 in English.  Even the vocabulary reminds us of the late, great Roman Empire, which didn’t last.


Do have a great Valentine’s Day, and make it a beginning of a really good year for everyone.

Handmade card from young friend to young friend, about 1912, with help of Mom.  Both were girls, neither yet in country school.  (This was written by a farm Mom for her daughter to the daughter of another farm Mom nearby.  It would be interesting to know if the writing is original or from a poem seen in the time around 1900-1912 or so.)

The youngsters lived about two miles apart.  The handwriting: “Because I love you, if there were paths to Fairyland or to the brightest star, I would turn from them all and go the road to where you are.”


My date with surgery seems set for Feb 18.  The week to come will be busy.  A Caring Bridge site has been established for updates.  Don’t expect anything until Feb 18.  I guess I’m Dick Bernard-Mn at Caring Bridge.

POSTNOTE: The officious review of Stravinsky in today’s Minneapolis StarTribune doesn’t agree with me, but, so, what else is new?  I was in the same hall, heard the same performances, and saw and felt the reaction of everybody else.  Reviews are always personal opinions!

COMMENTS (more at end of post):

from SAK:  Many thanks for the uplifting post for Valentine’s – lovely card by the little girl (with help from mum).

Stravinsky is one of my favourite composers. He is music’s Picasso: different styles but hugely successful in all.

Picasso when asked about style said: “God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style, He just goes on trying other things.” May God carry you safely through the week ahead.

& like you I wouldn’t worry about the review of the Stravinsky concert – has any statue been put up for a critic!?

All the best.

from JSD: Best of luck with your surgery. I pray that you will do well like I did. I have been 14 years cancer free of colon cancer.

from Judy: such lovely thoughts.  My prayers are with you as surgery approaches.  God’s blessings to you.

from Lee: Good luck with your surgery Dick. I will be keeping you in my thoughts.

from John: Sending love and healing thoughts. There are many of us who will be thinking of you this week and always.

from Jeff: Good luck Mr B….i have no doubt a stout German Frenchie like you will come thru just fine….blogging from your recovery bed…thinking of you….

from Larry: Dick, back when I was teaching storytelling and video, I would tape the Superbowl, then isolate some of the most fun ads that were appropriate for kids to watch (obviously in my opinion, because many of them would have already seen all of them).  Then I’d show some of them and talk about how much companies paid for a minute of advertising time (back then it was “only” a million dollars a minute.  Then talk about a few things, like people being homeless, and a decent house, nothing fancy, was then about $100,000.  Then ask them to think, IF YOU HAD A MILLION DOLLARS TO SPEND, WHAT WOULD YOU DO, IF YOU WEREN’T TELLING EVERYONE TO BUY FRITOS?   Some papers were pretty self indulgent, but a fair number would also be quite socially conscious, etc.

Happy Valentines Day, and may your surgery go well, and make everything better.
from Rosa: Our thoughts are with you in your upcoming surgery. Hope that everything will go smoothly, and, as one of the people who commented on your blog, that the prognosis after surgery will be a good one.
from Anita: Happy Valentine’s Day, Dick.  My thoughts and prayers are with you, especially on the 18th.  Hope everything will go well.
from Fr. Harry:  I appreciate, Dick, your sharing this with me and others. I am praying for your healthy recovery and will offer Mass for you on February 17th, the day before your surgery.

from Jerry:  Dick, thanks for reminding us of your surgery date.  You know I will be praying for you and checking on Caring Bridge.  Get well quickly as we value your input with FAHF as well as your blogs,

from Beth:  Star Gazer will be looking after both of you this week.

Star Gazer resides on my kitchen table and  “Looks Out” and “Looks After” me, and people I care for.  “All will be well”

Star Gazer from Beth 2/13/22

from Kristi: Wishing you all the best for a smooth surgery and a fast recovery. Please let me know if I can do anything to help you.

to Kristi from Dick: Many thanks.  It’s Monday, and absent changes, the surgery is Friday.  No one knows for sure what the future holds, for myself, themselves, or anyone else, or for our nation and world – this is a very troubled time.  You and I and many others shared a lot of time over the past 20+ years since 9-11-01 in the Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers and then Citizens for Global Solutions, and other related common ground, and regardless of what my personal future holds, let’s keep working for a better and more workable world.  It is possible, but it will continue to take effort, lots of it.   I’m an optimist, but my optimism is tested these days, not for myself, but for all of us, everywhere.  Keep on, keeping on!

from Jermitt: I appreciate your comments on what we value in life.  Each of us are different, but our basic interests are the same or at least similar.

I wish you only the best in your upcoming surgery.  In many ways, you are my valentine.

Portion of letter from the Minnesota Orchestra to subscribers Feb. 14:  “Happy Valentine’s Day!  I’d like you to have Besame Mucho from the Minnesota Orchestra. It’s the classic love song “Besame Mucho.” Written in 1941 by Consuelo Velazquez, this achingly romantic tune became a global phenomenon performed by The Beatles, Elvis, Frank Sinatra and dozens of other artists. Trumpeter Charles Lazarus and the Minnesota Orchestra teamed up to make this rendition part of the 2021 Symphony Ball, with Tommy Barbarella on piano and Music Director Osmo Vänskä on the podium.With gratitude for your generosity and all you do to sustain the Minnesota Orchestra, I hope this adds to the sweetness of your day.”

from our next door neighbor, a photo of a rainbow, with best wishes.

Rainbow on Romeo Road

from Kathya:  I know your surgery is on Friday, so I wanted to say that I have been praying for you, for the doctors to do a perfect job and for you to be promptly recovered.

My husband Fred and I are sending you good thoughts and prayers and wishing you to be healed with this medical intervention.
from Len: Good Luck. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
from Claude: The best of luck, Dick. You’re in good hands, I’m sure.
from Sean: Prayers to you!
from Beth: All the best wishes, love and prayers to you, Dick, as you journey through this surgery process. Lifting Cathy and the rest of the family up, as well, as I know good and well it’ll be weighing on them too. Take care & God bless.
from Pat: Keeping you in our prayers Dick, hope all goes well with the surgery!
from Jane: Blessings to you on Friday and after.
from Maria:  Tomorrow is your day and you will be in our thoughts and prayers.   I liked the picture you posted of myself with your family. I have fond memories of the time spent with your parents in North Dakota and the time with your family in Anoka. Your mom was so good at playing scrabble and I learned a lot from her to improve my English.  All the best tomorrow and I hope you feel well enough to continue your blog.
from Jim: …And best wishes to you, too, Dick!  Looking forward to hearing from you again real soon!
from Gene:  Best of luck with your surgery on Friday. Jackie and I will be thinking of you and surrounding you with white light.  All the best from one tough North Dakota boy to another!
from Donna: We will be going to mass on Friday to pray for you.  Best of luck.  I feel so fortunate that we both attend the Basilica.
from David: Wishing you all the best with your upcoming surgery. Hopefully they’ll have nice sharp tools to cut into the tough old curmudgeon. Fred says to remind you that he’ll be buying coffee this coming Wednesday.
response from Dick: from occasional coffee buddy, what more needs to be said?
from Eric and Holly:  Hi Uncle Dick!   Just wanted to say ‘hi’ and let you know we’re thinking of you.  We look forward to our next brunch!
from Myron: Good health to you with successful surgery.
from Barry: Hope for the best Dick.
from John: Best wishes and prayers go out for you, Dick. We fought the good fight together advocating for teachers, quality public schools and sought to create an environment for protecting the special relationship between the student and the teacher. As you and I have discussed many times, we did make a difference and we had lots of fun and learned much about people and relationships. I admire your indomitable possitivity in working in the peace and justice movement and the example you have set by recreating yourself and never giving up your passion to make this a better world. So, after you have recovered, get going and keep the fires burning.
from Gail:  You will be in our prayers for a healing outcome and journey in the hands of very capable and respectful medical personnel.  God bless,
from Kathy: Blessings to you Dick as you make your way through surgery into wellness. You are loved!
from Mary: have a good time is not appropriate but it is appropriate to take this next event one day and a time and look towards the open door at the end!  Best always!
from Molly:  Good Morning, Dick, On this pre-surgery day, I’m wishing you love & prayers, & superb outcomes. In fact,  into the mix of prayers for you, I also am offering of one of the loveliest (& upbeat) pieces I know–Beethoven’s 7th Symphony because it has such power, and such beauty, that I’ve always felt a Divinity about it.  And, I’m guessing that you know this music, too. And it’s wonderful upbeat & triumphant lift seems like prayer/faith/joy…
from Bruce: I’ll be thinking about you tomorrow.
from JoAnn: Wishing you well on your surgery.  Prayerfully,

from Sandra: Best wishes for your surgery.

from Paul: We will be thinking about you while you have your surgery and recovery.  Wish you the best possible outcome and look forward to hearing from you soon.

from Sue: Best wishes, Dick.  Your first name will be added to the prayers for the prayer group at Assumption.

from Mary Rae: Hope all goes well for you.  Take your time to recover as I think there may be spring/summer to enjoy this year (I hope).

from Denise: Thinking of you during your surgery and recovery.

from Annelee, Feb. 16, 2022

Annelee spent the first 21 years of her life in Germany, leaving for America in 1947.  She knows of what she speaks, at 95.

from Christina:

I’m just letting you know I have my altar area all set up With the blessed Virgin Mary, candle, and rosary.  I will be praying for you tomorrow for your surgery.
Remember…All things work for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

10 replies
  1. Christina
    Christina says:

    I feel so confident about your good recovery. I pray for you every day and this is one of the prayers I pray.
    We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
    We’ll be watching caring bridge.
    Happy Valentine’s Day.

    • dickbernard
      dickbernard says:

      You come from the area of my grandparents. The little girls, characters in the handmade Valentine, would have been my aunt Lucina, born 1907, and a Freese girl about her age who, I think, lived a couple of miles away, which was a long walk even back then!

  2. Leila Habashi
    Leila Habashi says:

    I feel so lucky to have heard you speak at the ARC meeting coordinated by Judy Mahakian in the summer of 2019. Your sincerity as the Sufi would say….is like the burning of the moth in the candle. I looked forward to your messages for they gave me the dawn between the darkness of the material world and the Sun of Reality. Wish you the best.

  3. Sandy Curry
    Sandy Curry says:

    Dick best of everything with your upcoming surgery and wishing you a full great recovery! We will be thinking if you sending our prayers your way love from Sandy and Rick Curry

  4. Lois Young
    Lois Young says:

    May all go well on Friday – we all look forward to your valuable blog and expect it will continue to provide knowledge, hope and friendship. As my only connection to the years at VC (STC), it is enjoyable to bring back memories of VC and ND as you reminisce and share the past along with the present. Lois Young


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