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Heart Matters


by Bev Berens

Published: Friday, February 14, 2020

Telling Your Story

How appropriate is the fact that February, the month of Valentines and hearts and love, is also National Heart Month?

One out of every four deaths in America is a result of heart disease, a surprisingly large percentage. Congestive heart failure, stroke, arrhythmia, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease are just some of the guilty predators that snatch away health, vitality and life from their victims.

It is easy to take the heart and its important function in the body for granted as long as you are healthy. If heart problems are your reality, heart health has more urgency, for the heart is the engine that keeps fuel pumped throughout the body. It is our very lifeline, without which, there is no life.

Heart health needs to be taken seriously. A healthy lifestyle and diet are important! There are people who want you around for the long haul. There are people who want to celebrate many more Valentine's Days with you!

Speaking of which, how will you celebrate the greeting card industry's biggest marketing success ever? Will you shower those you love with candy, flowers and dinner? Will you pop some corn and watch a movie all cozied together with your family, spouse or significant other? Will you go out to dinner or grab a pizza? Do you have a more creative idea?

I personally have a big day planned. First, there are some deadlines to meet so I will be working hard all week so I am not overwhelmed on Feb. 14. There is time carved out for birthday lunch with a friend, flowers and cake with my Mom and a nice supper at home with my guy—and hopefully he will take me out for a nice supper on Saturday night!

A couple years ago, I got a great surprise for my Valentine birthday. The weather was iffy and the roads potentially bad, but we had made some loose plans with friends for them to drive down and have supper together in celebration. We were going out anyway, but since they had a long drive, I just encouraged them to stay home and stay safe. They "agreed" while secretly plotting with Mr. Berens to meet us at the restaurant anyway. I took my sweet time in getting showered and dressed, while Mr. Berens was already waiting in the truck. I never questioned why he was so eager to get on the road, unusual behavior for him, but I didn't think much about his hurryup attitude. We get to the restaurant, and I wanted a close parking spot because it was cold and nasty. I circled the parking lot. Twice. I drove past our friends' truck. Twice. Never even noticed their big three-quarter ton farm truck with the cow license plate.

What a surprise when they were waiting in the entry! My physical heart got a little exercise from the excitement and my emotional heart was overjoyed.

I hope you all feel loved and make someone else feel loved on Valentine's Day. And don't leave your heart out of all the day's attention. Commit to leading a lifestyle that will make your heart feel loved, too!

Bev Berens is a freelance writer and FFA parent from Holland, Mich. She can be contacted at uphillfarm494@yahoo.com.

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