A month ago I was writing the Newsletter in the middle of a blizzard.  Today, April showers have certainly brought May flowers.  Especially this time of the year, I often pause to be thankful for being born in the Midwest, living in the serenity of the beautiful countryside and the wonder of new growth in nature and neighboring new baby livestock.

After a heavy rain today, everything has been washed clean and the colors are vibrant.  As widows, we sometimes need to be “washed clean” and again become vibrant.  As an emerging plant isn’t the same one that became dormant last year, we can become a new us.  A new us that thinks of how life was “before” and begins to consciously build a new season.

 I encourage you to join us to encourage each other, make new friends and understand you may feel alone in this walk of widowhood but you’re actually in a very large group of women who are striving to pave a new vibrant path.   


Have you got the new Hill Church app that allows you to get all our news, including this newsletter.  It has the ability to send you a reminder of the meetings.  You can customize it to get all Hill Church information or only pertaining to our widowhood group. If you have questions or need help, contact Lance at 217-371-3801 - he rocks explaining. 

Last month we ROCKED it!    A first time for most and a lot of great ideas and painting.   There were plans to do more when they got home.  Fun hobbies are a great way to get out of your head and into something new.  We visited (which is always good with other widows) and we laughed.  A Lot.


Next meeting is May 14th - 1:00pm @ Hill Church

Dr. David Pendergrass, Hill Church pastor and counselor, has committed to visit again this month.  The last time he visited, we had some newly widowed and some of the emotions were raw.  Nine months later, it will be interesting to understand how far you’ve come and talk about what your needs are now.  I thought the general topic would be “Bringing peace into widowhood”.   


Here are some resources you may enjoy: 

*  Developed by Pam Bates, her May Newsletter is full of new activities.

*  Founder of the Modern Widows Club, Carolyn Moor has a new on-line series of instructional events that you may like.  She lists Club events for June 2024 on her Facebook site:  Carolyn Moor Mwc 



On Sunday, June 23, 2024, let’s plan to go to lunch, meeting at P.L. Johnson’s, 110 W Bjorklund St., Bishop Hill around 12 - 12:30.  For those that have a bit of a drive after church, we’ll wait to order.  Celebrate who we’ve become, our friendships and support!  Invite another widow if you’d like - a great way for them to see the benefits of conquering widowhood.  

I’ll need reservations by our June 11.  

For menu: see their Facebook page.  For an overview:   They do have dairy free and gluten free choices.  And homemade desserts - yum!

Romans 1:12   That we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.  

As always, feel free to invite other widows to our 2nd Tuesday of every month get togethers.  They don't have to be Hill Church members or a member of any church - widowhood is the key that unlocks our door.



Good grief on this snowy blizzard of a morning!  It’s pretty but like the little daffodils, I’m finding it an intrusion upon my positive spring outlook!  One thing widows eventually learn to master is deliberately deciding to think positive.  That positivity may take a hit at certain times, but we each develop a means to grab onto deciding to make today better.   And if you can’t make today any better, then try again tomorrow.  Learn the tricks - a cup of tea, a good book, your favorite TV show, visiting a friend, going someplace new or writing in your journal.  Does it make grief go away?  Not always - although doing these little things can help get through those sad times.


The  above picture is from our February Valentine’s party.   What a fun time.  

We had a bunch of busy folks in March, so we spent some time visiting and talking about where we are and how we’re doing.  It’s always a treasure to have other widow(s) to care and understand.

Pastor Lance Hampton did a “hands on” help to get the new Hill Church app on our phones.  I will be transitioning all CW electronic communications to this app, including the Newsletter.  Also, notification of the routine monthly get togethers and other communications.  All you have to do is download the new Hill Church app!  

The app allows you to decide how much and what information you wish to receive - from everything going on at Hill Church or just the Conquering Widowhood info.  These choices will fit nicely with us as we have as many non-Hill members in our group as members.  Google Hill Church if you have an I-phone or Hill Church-Kewanee if you have other.   

I’ll give Lance all our e-mail addresses and he will enter into the new system.  You will need to get the app on your phone.  If you have questions or need help, contact Lance at 217-371-3801 - he rocks explaining.


Next meeting is April 9th - 1:00pm @ Hill Church

 Rocks get a bum rap.  “Dumb as a box of rocks!”  “Crazy like a rock star!”  “Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo!”  At our April 9th get together, we’re going to rock it all night long - or until 2:30!

I’ll be bringing some flat smooth rocks for us to paint.  I got the idea when one of my husband’s daughters routinely brought a hand-painted rock to put on her father’s grave.  And as a gardener, various grandchildren have given me hand-painted rocks for the flower beds or porches.  Some of them have been painted like ladybugs, bees, with a cross, a heart, flowers, frogs, smiley faces - you get it.  If you’re not rock painting inspired, google “painted rocks” and there will be something that strikes your fancy. 


My friend (and widow) Pam Bates (Galva’s Braving Widowhood founder) is always happy to welcome other widows’ groups to her fun events.  Here are two 2024 plans:

April 27 - 11:30-1:30 in Bishop Hill:  Painting a cardinal barn quilt.  $35 each includes supplies.  Coffee/snacks afterward.
May 31 (perhaps more days according to response) - Trip to Amana Colonies/Williamsburg IA.  $100 due by April 20 - final cost determined on how many days (motel/food/etc.)


I’m still in talks to get our speaker for “Security for Widows”.  Home, driving, on-line, out and about.   As always, let me know if there’s something you’d like to do or hear about. 
As always, feel free to invite other widows to our 2nd Tuesday of every month get togethers.  They don't have to be Hill Church members or a member of any church - widowhood is the key that unlocks our door.

Diane Gibson