National Widows Day/International Widows Day

By Karen England, the Edgehill Herb Farmer.

Today, May 3, is National Widows Day. Ugh. Next month sometime is International Widows Day. Global ugh.

Every sunset reminds me that I’m a widow as I watch it alone. I want to move on from being a widow to being just me. Wish there was a day for that.

It’s nice there’s a day for us, it’s very well intentioned, but, my gosh – ugh. I don’t want to be a widow. Of course, I have no choice about being one. (Well, I could date and possibly get married again, thereby resetting my status as a wife. But that requires dating and I’m not doing that anytime soon, possibly ever.)

I don’t want to receive a “[Happy] Widows Day” card, no matter how well-intentioned. It just cements my identity as a widow when I want to be anything but. I’m not living in denial (but maybe I am?) I know that my husband is dead and I am a widow. I am this every day, every night, day in, day out, month in, month out, year in, year out. It’s excruciating. What I want is to be me. On some random day, send me a “[Happy] You Day” card. Help me move from being identified as a widow to being known as me.

The widow me, eight years and counting.

Disclaimer: I’m not saying any other widow in the universe feels as I do, so don’t not send them a condolence card, or not fix their toilet on this day or the next one because of me. I’d hate ruin a good thing for them!

All widows deserve your care, concern and thoughtfulness, but maybe ask them what they’d like first. It may not be to be reminded that they are widows two months in a row on Widows Days when they already wake up each morning trying to forget. Instead, being reminded by you any day, every day that they are still them, still loved, forgetting they are widows for the moment so they can forget too might be the gift you can give. That, and fixing their toilets…

Widows are grateful for the smartphone “selfie” feature since otherwise there’s no one to take the sunset pictures…

A Bowl Of Lilacs . . .

“Now that the lilacs are in bloom She has a bowl of lilacs in her room”

~ T. S. Eliot

I love lilacs, but can’t grow them. I’ve tried. Epic fail.

Lilacs, Syringa vulgaris, planted in the correct settings are easy to grow but, if planted in the wrong climate, even the “low-chill” varieties, are impossible to grow in my experience. I have the wrong climate. So , every year, my friend Karon and I trek north to Acton, CA in Los Angeles County to the Kilcoyne Lilac Farm for a fragrant lilac day.

Karon and Karen in the lilacs, Kilcoyne Lilac Farm, Acton, CA.

You can read about last year’s trip in my April 2022 article in Let’s Talk Plants! the newsletter of the San Diego Horticultural Society here –

These pictures are all from this year.

Here’s Pat Welsh’s great post about growing lilacs –

If you still want to try growing lilacs in mild climates, here’s what Monrovia says –

At Kilcoyne there are dozens of different lilac varieties growing, all different colors and flower shapes and each with a slightly different lilac scent. Put a bunch together of these different lilacs and the aroma is intoxicating. A perfume that perfumer could only dream of creating.

Using the timer feature, I put my phone in the crook of a lilac branch opposite us to get this picture.
Oh! The fragrance!
Until next year!
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