Mark N. Mengonfia

Monrovia-February-15-TNR:Yesterday, Social media in Liberia was filled with messages of love. Lovers took to their social media pages experiencing love and affection for their partners.

Some told a long story how they started their romantic relationship with their partners while others just posted images of their partners with simple messages. Some of the messages could make you laugh why others make you emotional.

One person who expressed emotional message during the day was Liberia’s Senate Pro-tempore, Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence.

She wrote on her page, “15 years ago on Valentine’s Day, I had a very beautiful wedding. Eleven (11) guests, no cake, jams and T-shirts dress code, and a catering budget of US$65.00. We loved and held onto one another, and that has given me so many beautiful memories, that I cherish today, and continue to make me smile through my tears.”

Her sweet love message turned sour when she said, “My husband died 10 years later, in a tragic accident on his birthday, but his commitment to loving and supporting me brought out my values and made me who I am today. True love brings out the best in you! Love and cherish every moment in your relationship and remember that the best thing to hold on to is one another.”

Pro-tempore Karnga-Lawrence went on, “Happy Valentine’s Day! Love and cherish every moment! In loving memory. RIP Bab.”

The Liberian Senate Pro-temp posted images of she and her husband’s Happy days and those images that brought her the remembrance of them together. She received lots of reactions to the post she made that early Wednesday morning.

Pro-tempore Karnga-Lawrence and her late husband, Adolph Akwe Lawrence set a record when they became the first and only couple to be elected as lawmakers. Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence was elected Senator of Grand Bassa County, while her late husband Lawrence was elected Representative of District #15, Montserrado County.

Also, Gbarpolu County Senator, Amara Konneh who is also former Finance Minister of Liberia did not allow the day to go unnoticed.

He took his time and wrote few romantic words on his Facebook page. Konneh said, “When we are young, it’s the illusion of perfection that we fall in love with. As we age, it’s the humanness that we fall in love with – the poignant stories of overcoming, the depthful vulnerability of aging, the struggles that grew us in karmic stature, and the way a soul shaped itself to accommodate its circumstances. Where we once saw imperfect scars, we now see evidence of a life fully lived. Happy Valentine’s Day, Ma Hawah!.”

Liberian journalist, Maxwell Johnson who has relocated his family to the United States of America also recounted how he got his wife after he attended a journalistic event.

Journalist Johnson started his long conversation by saying, “I was sitting in the newsroom in 2005 in my capacity as  a “cub reporter” awaiting an unexpected assignment when one of my bosses said Maxwell what are you doing now and I said, ‘nothing o chief,” and he said come and go to the Baptist Seminary area on an assignment.

I was so happy because I knew something (Kato) would drop at the end of the assignment.

One of my colleagues accompanied me and we went on the assignment that was already in the middle.

There was a lady who was serving drinks and she handed two bottles of soft drink to us, but spontaneously I got attracted to this lady for reason I can’t explained. I told my friend about my feelings and he said I should approach the lady on our way to the station.

Unfortunately my friend advice didn’t work because when we were leaving, the lady and the mother escorted us on the road so my mission failed. I didn’t talk to my ideal woman, I didn’t take her number and I had no means of getting in touch with her.

So, I lost her, but the thought of me seeing her again lingered in my mind always. One day about a year following my encounter with this ideal woman, I accidentally bumped into her on UL Capitol Hill campus and I really thought I was dreaming.

At first I was speechless, I regained my posture and spoke to  her like somebody is speaking to a VIP. I asked, “Do you remember me?”” and I heard yes, “ehn you are the journalist that covered Mama’s program” and I was beaming with smile already.

From that day forward all the puzzles began to fall in place and today we are almost 13 years in marriage.

My one wife, Tenneh Siah Juku Koijee Johnson, you are a virtuous woman, a woman of substance and true love. When I come back in the next world I will still take you as my bride. You are truly my Val today, tomorrow and forever. HAPPY VALENTINE my forever KATO.”

History of Valentine:

As far as anyone can tell, the Saint Valentine of Valentine’s Day was one of two guys preaching the good word in Rome in the third century. One of these two was martyred on February 14th 269, thus giving us the date for his eponymous day.

Absolutely nothing.  After he was killed, Valentine’s remains sat in the Catacombs of San Valentino for a while before moving to Santa Maria in Cosmedin (or the Basilica of Saint Valentine in Terni, if you support the claim of the other Valentine) where they were visited by pilgrims for many years. They probably would have remained venerated, but somewhat anonymous relics for the patron saint of beekeepers and people suffering from the plague had it not been for Chaucer.

Geoffrey Chaucer has nothing to do with Roman martyrs but he has a lot to do with English literature and that’s how he created a connection between Saint Valentine and love celebrations. The first written connection between love and Valentine’s Day appears in his poem, Parlement of Foules, written in the late 14th century. He appears to have simply invented the correlation and chalked it up to poetic license, though it’s also possible that he was drawing from older courtly traditions.

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