Lady Day - by Regina Higgins - “Now we must keep her comfortable.”

I heard the words Gran’s doctor didn’t say. There was no hope.

Gran came home to stay with me, in her own room, with a special bed. I was her only family, but a nurse visited every day. We would help Gran to her chair by the window, so she could look out to her garden, covered for the winter.

The weather was awful that March. It pained me to think that Gran’s last days would be so cold. Whenever I imagined Gran, it was always in the garden in the summer. I’d beg to pick cherry tomatoes off the vine and her answer was always the same.

“Yes, of course, dear.”

The sound of those words and the sweet taste came to mean love to me.

Gran had spoken less and less over the past months, but she understood what I was saying. I always spoke as if that were so, anyhow. Gran’s nurse encouraged me in this. She also suggested I tell Gran the day and the date every morning when she woke up.

“It helps her keep in touch,” she explained.

When I heard Gran stirring that morning, I headed to her room.

“Good morning, Gran. It’s Saturday, March 25th.”

I was headed to the kitchen to put the kettle on when I heard a soft, small voice.


Gran hadn’t spoken for a week or more. I could hardly believe what I’d heard. But then she spoke again.


“Yes, it’s certainly cold today,” I said, trying to sound casual. “Do you need an extra blanket?”

Gran shook her head. “Freezer. And bin.”

Then I knew what she meant. The seeds were in the freezer in the garage and the seed potatoes in the bin next to it.

It hit me. March 25th. Lady Day, Gran always called it. Spring’s real start.

“Shall we start planting?” I asked.

Gran smiled. “Yes, of course, dear.”

I headed to the garage. Even in the darkest time, when hope is gone, something just as powerful remains. Perhaps it’s love.

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Regina, it’s wonderful to read a story from you! And this particular story is very dear to my heart. I, too, had a “real” first day of spring on which I started my planting. Mine was March 17th. I, too, can no longer work in my garden. This story is not only beautiful, but very meaningful to any gardener or anyone with an elderly, much beloved, family member.

Question - is Lady Day a commonly used phrase? Or did you create it for this story? I love the sound and meaning of it.

Lovely writing.

Thanks, Julie! So glad you enjoyed it!

Lady Day is a real thing. It’s the feast of the Annunciation, celebrating the visit of the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary. In Britain, it became an important date because that was when farmers would hire for the growing season. I came to know of it mostly through 19th century novels. I love the sound and meaning of it, too!

I’m sorry to hear that you can no longer work in the garden. But your writing is such a joy, and I’m so happy to read and hear your wonderful stories. Thanks for reading mine!

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Wow, I had never heard of Lady Day, so I’m thrilled to learn all about the history and meaning. Anything related to planting is beautiful to me. Luckily I planted many perennials while I still could plant, so they bring me joy every year. Right now my edgeworthia (honey-scented gold and white balls) and spring-blooming camellias (soft pink) are covering my garden with fragrance and color.

Was the picture that accompanied your story taken in your neighborhood recently? It’s a lovely one!

So glad to hear about the edgeworthia and camellias! We need their beauty, for sure.

I took the photo on a walk in the neighborhood. I was so very happy to see these signs of spring, and glad to have a way of sharing the sight.

Regina, thank you for this sweet touching story and for educating me about Lady Day. How wonderful that a date could jolt the Gran’s memory back to the present and seeding! I love how you end on the positive note of hope and love. In fact the theme of love gently weaves through your story!

Hello, Regina. So excited and happy to read a sweet and lovely story from you. As a gardener, I truly enjoyed reading this. Lovely. I hope to reading and listening more stories from you.

Thanks, Margarida! I so appreciate your kind words. I did try to weave the theme of love throughout, so it’s a thrill to see that it came through to readers!

Thanks so much, Lotchie. I enjoyed writing and narrating it so much. And praise from a gardener is especially thrilling!

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What a lovely, heartwarming story, Regina. Love is such a powerful emotion that I like to think that when other memories are lost that love will find our most treasured. I hope to read more from you.

Thanks so much, Linda! Looking forward to reading your stories. I’m happy to be here.

Oh, Regina, what a sweet story. Yes, there is definitely love between Gran and the protagonist, love that will only grow as more gardens are planted in subsequent year., This story brought a tear to my eye and a smile to my heart. Thank you,

I also enjoyed hearing your voice after following your writing for so long. I hope you have a nice, warm spring and that your garden thrives.

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