I’ve got a pretty good handle on happy. I’m good at choosing it, I’m good at chasing it, I’m good at cherishing it.
The trick is, I choose to be happy by allowing myself moments to be sad.
When something happens, I do pick myself up but I also allow the space to fall apart.
(At least) Once a year, for nine years, I’ve given myself a day to really sink in, and be sad about my mom.
And yesterday was that day.
I thought about all the things she’d missed this last year. All the big moments I didn’t get to share with her. All the myriad of ways that I miss her.
I just let it all wash over me, I held nothing back.
It was hard, and it was good.
I really believe that you can only be strong for so long before you crumble, but if I allow the space for it I can still have some control over when and where I fall, so I’m not blindsided or shaken to hard.
(I’ve crumbled before in public and as much as your body craves a good cry, it’s just not the same when part of you is self-conscious. You need to be able to really release it all, and that’s something that is just too intense for a simple stranger to witness.)
Back to yesterday.
I was sitting on the couch when I first started to cry, and my sweet husband (realizing that it was the anniversary of my mom’s death) didn’t try to fix it. (Don’t try to fix it.) He kissed me and smiled a little, but he didn’t attempt to pull me out, he just stepped aside and gave me the space.
When he kissed our daughter goodbye I did overhear him whisper, “Take care of your mama today, ok?”
Sweetest man alive, this one.
You know what’s beautiful?
I was sitting there with my coffee, letting wave after wave of sadness wash over me when my daughter, who is only four, wrapped her sweet arms around my neck, pulled my face up close to her’s and said, “I’m so sorry your parents are in heaven, I got you.”
All I wanted was to have my beautiful, blond haired, blue-eyed, vibrant mother offer me comfort, and instead God gave me my blond haired, blue-eyed, sparkly daughter.
Comforted by the girl that I mother while I morned the woman who mothered me.
There’s something so precious about that.
My sadness didn’t last long. Eventually I worked out, made meals. Adam and I even went on a group date with three other couples to dinner and a ballgame.
It wasn’t all day, it didn’t need to be. I wasn’t drowning in it.
Crying, for me, isn’t a bad thing. It’s good for my soul.
To let out the anger, sadness, longing.
It doesn’t steal any of my joy, actually I believe that in a lot of ways it enhances it. Yin and Yang and all that jazz.
A Time for Everything
3 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die. . .a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;” (Ecclesiastes 3)
Yesterday I broke down.
Today I’m back to the dance.
And I have my sweet little girl to thank for being my witness. Like her father, she too didn’t try to fix anything for me yesterday, and yet somehow she does.
She, her brother, her father. They are my happy thoughts and today I focus on that. All my reason to dance.
Thank you for comforting me yesterday. You are a good friend, and the joy of my life. I’ll never forget it.
“Oh, baby baby it’s a wild world. And I’ll always remember you like a child girl.”