Single Parents & Loneliness: Another Approach

Woman wearing straw hat standing on beach

Oh my gosh, it is about to happen. The emails keep coming. The stores look different.  The candy is the same, just a different shape. The pinks, the reds.  Yes, Valentine’s Day is on the horizon. I knew immediately what I would write about. Hold that thought.

Pink valentine day heart cookies

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Black and white of two photos side by side; straw hat in wheat field and bouquet of wheat being handed by a woman

Valentine’s Day

With the 14th soon upon us, I realized my view of Valentine’s Day is simply a day of “love.” Not so much Cupids and arrows (aka romantic love), but simply love for one another (i.e. our children, our family, a friend, someone special, etc.).  That viewpoint became a predominate way of thinking as a single parent.

With that said, I wanted to share some heartfelt happenings with you with the approach of St. Valentine’s Day.

Single Parent Loneliness

Alone time as a single parent was poignant for me. Those quiet, sorrowful, and lonely periods prompted me to reflect a lot. Due to this, I spent a lot of time walking on the beach. I had many a pair of worn out shoes from all of the miles put on them.

Also keeping in mind, the beaches I walked on consisted not only of sand but small, medium, and large rocks, also some boulders scattered about. Additionally, the beaches changed over the years, dependent on the tidal activity. Some years, we had sandy beaches and other years we had an abundance of beach rocks and stones washed up on shore.

In essence, things do change. Hint, I love the last sentence. Let’s just say it again, things change.

Five beach rocks stacked on top of one another on driftwood with sea in background

Beach Walks for Grief

Getting back to the beach walks, it was then I discovered the beauty and enigma of nature. It was early on as a single parent that I came upon one heart-shaped beach rock during my grief.

Close up image of beach rocks with one heart shaped beach rock

Over the years, the heart-shaped rocks kept magically appearing. I was captivated by them.  

As a result, I saw many heart rocks. The word “many” can be linked to two factors:  

1) That is a lot of sorrow; or
2) A bigger force was saying, “You are loved.” 

Heart Rock Story

So, are you ready for this?  Here is the best part of the story and oh how I love a good story. I had made a new friend who was surprisingly very curious about my heart rock sightings and how I could spot them out of hundreds of rocks. 

She told me, “I walk the beach just as much as you and I have never seen a heart-shaped rock.” 

I said, “Why don’t we go for a beach walk and I will show you how this happens.”  

This particular day we embarked on a 7-mile beach walk in search of the infamous “heart rock.”  

I said to my friend, “The secret is you have to believe that you will find them.”

No sooner did we get started on our walk, she screamed out, “I think I found one!” And, there it was, the first official heart rock sighting on my friend’s part.

Hearts are Different

One secret of the trade is sometimes, not always, one needs to stretch one’s imagination just a bit and say, “Could this be a heart? Yeah, sure, why not.” Heart rocks come in all shapes. All of our hearts are different, right? Some open, some closed, some loving, some scarred, some giving, some broken, and some healing, etc. 

I will never forget spending the afternoon with my friend whose enthusiasm for the love of nature was ignited as we discovered many heart rock sightings. Over the years of our friendship, she continued to walk on the beach, without me, and started her own heart rock sightings ever so easily. The charming little hearts were just waiting to be discovered. Luckily, by my good friend! With her eyes wide open she saw life’s possibilities.

Simple Things

As I pull away from the store’s red and pink decorations prominently displayed, I look forward to the simple things. Possibly a rare sighting of the red cardinal eating at our bird feeder during a snowstorm.  Or, looking up from my writing to discover the sky turning a light pink from a spectacular sunset. Or, just perhaps, stumbling upon another heart rock?

But, then again, you never know when some little one will take you by surprise when you least expect it...

Small boy, wearing red winter jacket, carrying a red valentine box behind his back walking in snow

Happy St. Valentine’s Day,

Wellness For The Single Parent

Photography Credits
Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels - Woman with hat on beach
Photo by Jill Wellington from Pexels - Pink cookies
Photo by Scott Webb from Pexels - Close up beach rocks, orange
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay - Close up bigger beach rocks
Photo by Danne from Pexels - Stack of beach rocks
Image by ennea2 from Pixabay - Black heart rock
Image by Monika Baechler from Pixabay - Red heart rock on sand
Photo by Chris Chow on Unsplash - Cardinal in snow
Photo by Jill Wellington from Pexels - Boy with valentine

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  1. Loved this post. I, too, have seen heart rocks, and I’m sure have overlooked many more. Thanks to my daughter I’m now more aware.

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