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Waking to a new dawn on the Pacific Ocean, I’m grateful for love.

Sunrise, from Albion River Inn, CA (Hadi Dadashian photo)

I’m grateful for the love of my husband, who saved my life.

I’m grateful for the love of my parents, who gave me life.

Grateful for brothers and sisters who have supported me with unconditional love and humor, a long, long time (I’m the eldest, as they all keep reminding me).

I’m grateful for the unconditional love of our family spread across several countries, from the youngest — an 11-year-old niece born just before our wedding — to the eldest, my dad, who is about to hit 80.

I’m grateful for relatives-by-marriage I have yet to meet, who have extended love across continents. I am thankful to them for accepting me so warmly, and so openly, although our cultures and language are different. They prove that love, truly, transcends all, gathers all.

Love is the bridge between generations too, binding me to aunts and uncles and many cousins I don’t see often see, yet always, always hold in my heart.

On Valentine’s Day — which we don’t celebrate as a couple — I am still moved by the love of family.

Such enduring love and unquestioning faith in each other — no matter what — gives me hope, whether we’re 11 or 80. I survived near-death because of this trans-continental, multi-cultural and multi-generational love. Truly, I would not have survived without it.

My love is strong enough to bear anything, for Hadi and anyone in our family. I pray that I show that unconditional love as often as I can, and share it as widely as it has been extended to me.

love to all our family on Valentine’s Day, XOXO