“Should have brought you flowers…when I had the chance.”


Listening to Bruno Mars sing about the “same bed” feeling a “little bit bigger now” and the heart breaking a little “every time I hear your name” I think about my first Valentine’s Day as a widow.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

My husband, Phil always brought me a dozen roses on Valentine’s Day. Brought. They weren’t delivered. He thought that was too extravagant. Every Valentine’s Day he would stop by the grocery store on his way home and pick up a dozen roses. I’d make dinner. We’d exchange cards and have a romantic evening at home.

The first Valentine’s Day after he passed I still felt surrounded with love.

My sister gave me a single rose and a card. My nephew brought a sweet card and box of candy. What surprised me most was that three of Phil’s buddies called me. Two gave lame excuses for calling but I knew they just wanted to know that I was OK. The other was upfront. “It’s Valentine’s Day and I wanted to check on you,” Mike called before taking his wife to dinner. ”Do something fun and don’t be sad,” he said.

Of course I missed my husband and grieved that he was no longer with me. Valentine’s Day is for couples and I was no longer part of a couple. Still, I felt surrounded by love. Not romance. Love. Caring. Friendship.

That day I decided to always celebrate Valentine’s Day with flowers. I could choose to be sad because I was alone or I could choose to celebrate the happy marriage I’d had and the love of family and friends that is still in my life.

I’ve found that buying myself flowers spreads joy to others, too. The first Valentine’s Day that I put a dozen roses on the grocery checkout counter, the cashier said cheerfully, “You’re about to make someone happy!”

“They’re for me!” I laughed.

“Good for you!” she said enthusiastically. The lady in line behind me agreed. They shared a smile and loved my story about buying flowers for myself now that my husband is gone. I posted a photo of the flowers on Facebook and friends made happy comments. Maybe it gives others permission to give themselves flowers, too.

Many single, divorced and widowed friends confess that Valentine’s Day is difficult for them. Sometimes they stress over it and refuse to go out and face restaurants filled with couples. Would I like to have romance? Sure. But I do have love. Why not celebrate that on Valentine’s Day? It sure beats sitting home feeling blue.

In the years that I’ve been widowed I’ve celebrated at home with my flowers, a movie and chocolates. I’ve gone with a friend to a casual restaurant for early dinner at the bar; by the way, that’s where you find single guys on February 14th! One year I went to a play with a girlfriend. This year I’m going with a group of gals to see a movie that’s releasing on Valentine’s Day.

When I hear Bruno Mars sing, “When I was Your Man” I remember my man. He did bring me flowers. He did hold my hand. We went to every party when we had the chance. When I close my eyes, instead of the memory haunting me it brings me joy. He brought me flowers while he had the chance. And now I get them myself.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be sad. Look around and see all the love in your life and celebrate that. Love of your children and family. Love of friends. Love of what brings you joy.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Spread the love!


2 Responses to ““Should have brought you flowers…when I had the chance.””

  1. Mary Ariail said

    I know this was not supposed to be sad, but it brought tears to my eyes. I hope your day is filled with love.

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