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Q: Valentine's Day is once again upon us. As a single woman, I have recognized that on this day one can feel completely left out of things. So, last year I started a new tradition with my single women friends.

On Valentine's Day we meet for dinner. We call it "Singles Appreciation Day." Last year we had a great time together, and this year should be even more fun.

Singlehood is not something to cry about. It's something to celebrate and enjoy, just as we would the state of marriage when we find the right person. People need to learn to appreciate the value of each phase of life as we enter it. For now, I am happily appreciating the stage of being single.

Sandy in North Highlands, Calif.

A: I'm sure I'm not the only person who admires your positive and intelligent attitude about the journey we all make through life.

A wise person told me years ago that we are as happy as we make up our minds to be - and I hope more singles will learn from your example.

Actions speak volumes

Q: Last year on Valentine's Day I had many errands to run, so I started at my favorite coffee shop at 7 a.m.

At a table in front of me was an elderly couple. As I ate, I watched the man make several slow trips to the breakfast buffet for food. He put milk and sugar in his companion's dry cereal. He cut her food and twice wiped her mouth with her napkin. He put sugar and cream in her coffee and stirred it.

When they finally finished, he helped her from her chair, helped her with her coat, straightened out her folding walker, held her arm as they left and helped her into an older model car.

That vignette made my day. Were they sweethearts? I don't know, but there certainly was a lot of love there. Not a word was spoken, but I'm sure the message was received. We could use more of that kind of "conversation" every day, not just on Valentine's Day.

S. From Tennessee

A: The love and commitment you witnessed transcends any message that could be given verbally, or anything that could be written on a card. You saw a demonstration of the kind of commitment that is promised when people say to each other "in sickness and in health," but few people think through when they make that vow.

Your letter touched my heart, and I thank you for sending it so I could share it with my readers on this day that celebrates love.

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