Monday, February 6, 2012

Valentine's Day: The Best Way To Acknowledge It...Is To Acknowledge Others

It’s time to address it.  The day that has widows all over the world saying, “Shit.  It’s here again already?”

Valentine’s Day.

Now, as I said last year, I am of the opinion that Valentine’s Day is not a day that should just be considered romantic.  In fact, since the moment I had kids, Cupid took one look at my messy house and decided that he would come back in about 20 years when things had settled down a bit.

Wait.  Now that I think about it…since I had a husband who loathed Valentine’s Day and now a significant other who is never in town for it…I don’t think I’ve had a “romantic” Valentine’s Day since I was about 7-years-old and the little boy sitting across from me in class gave me an extra sucker.

Valentine’s Day is a family holiday now and one, I will admit, I’m not too crazy about.  This year will be better since all of my kids are now old enough to write and I don’t have to address 75 Sponge Bob cards all by myself.  Now, I just have to hand them a class list and a pen and hope that the candy to card ratio comes out right.  And if it doesn’t, I’ll have to go around the table, checking hands for stickiness to see who ate the two packs of Nerds that we needed.

My mom and I were talking the other day about the lost art of the hand-written note (I promise you this is all related…just stick with me) and how nice it is to get something unexpected like that. 

She said, “You know, I read something the other day about how it just makes you feel good to let others know how much you appreciate them.  Maybe that’s what you should put out to your widow’s group:  Have them just send a card to someone to say ‘Thank you and I’m glad I have you in my life.’”

Being a good daughter with a good mother who is always coming up with good ideas…that is what I’m doing right now:  Encouraging you to send a Valentine’s Day card to someone…not because it’s romantic.  But because you love them and, believe me, it will not only make their day when they receive it, I’m betting it will make you feel pretty darn good too.

Along those same lines, I wanted to share this story with you that I found this morning on the West Seattle Blog website.  It’s what happens when kindness, in the memory of someone we love, touches a stranger.  It moved me so much…and I know that this, of all groups, will appreciate this story:

Reader report: Teen finds ‘mystery gift’ on West Seattle bench

February 2, 2012 at 10:05 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 76 Comments

My name is Gabriella and I am 15 years old. I wanted to share my experience because I found it touching and very sweet.

While on a bike ride to take photos today, I found a gift sitting on a bench with a note attached that read “To the finder of this gift” overlooking the Seattle skyline near Salty’s.

I sat on the bench and opened the card, which was from a woman remembering her younger sister today, which would have been her 59th birthday. The woman shared her younger sister’s interests, accomplishments and love of life, and how she died suddenly in 2001 due to a pulmonary embolism from a foot injury. The gift was left at this location because her sister’s ashes were scattered on Alki and she loved the view of the skyline.

In the letter, the writer asked the finder of the gift to please express their love to those they care about. She also said that she learned that “all our love, memories, and connections are still there as true and strong as ever” even after death. The writer expressed her deep love for her sister and that the best parts of her are still with her.

I hope the writer of this letter sees this and knows how much it touched me.

P.S. The gift was a LED head lamp for riding and was with a card that read, “May a luminous dream light the way.”

Thank you, Gabriella

Happy Upcoming Valentine’s Day to you all.

I appreciate you more than you will ever know.


  1. This year will be my first Valentine's Day without my soul mate of 42 years. I hope I can focus on the good memories of the day.

    I started a widowhood blog as well. I hope, I too, can manage my grief by using humor as much as possible.

    1. Hi JR. Stumbled on this blog and saw your post. 42 yrs for me too, and my 1st Valentine's day. Only we know what we are going through, in our own individual, unique ways.
      Thank you, Widowchick, for comments on a way to make Valentine's Day Special. I will give! That sounds fun...and so "right." (I am also planning to buy of few of my husband's favorite flowers. "For "us".

  2. Question for you (and any Widow regular readers). I have a widow friend I'm interested in maybe becoming more than friends with. Is a valentine to her a bad idea? Not something overly mushy, just something to maybe give her a nudge that I might be interested. Never having been in that position, I have no idea whether that would make her tenatively happy or just depressed that her husband is gone. It's been about 2 years btw.

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  4. Reaching out for suggestions, I'm a Pastor at a church each year I deliver a balloon, maybe a small bear , bud base to all of our widoqs at church. This is my fourth year and I wanting to change it up. Any ideas. We just want to let them know they are loved on this lovely day

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