Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Even When Focus is Hard, Happy Happens

It was one of those weeks that everyone expected would be tough. The week before Mother's Day and a time filled with cards, flowers, candy and plans for special meals.

Right up until Saturday, when I had to squash a momentary desire to stay home and avoid seeing the other families -- mainly because the girls might need me at church -- I thought it wasn't much to worry about. I had enjoyed a great week, indulging in my desire to bring home another convertible, whether or not anyone else ever rode in it, and enjoying my virtually baby free week.

The thought of those other families, those other moms with their arms around sons, of grown boys hugging mothers who had become the small one in the pair, hurt, I will admit. But the reality of Sunday turned out to be like so many family gatherings have been since Ethan's addiction meant he could not always be with us. There was a piece missing, but it's been missing so long that it wasn't too hard to go on.

And Sunday afternoon, after babies and their parents, and my mom and dad, had all gone home, after I encouraged my husband to go enjoy a few holes of golf because he hasn't had a chance all year, for a moment I felt the blues tugging at my heart, the desire to allow myself to wallow in what I didn't have instead of relish what I do have.

Instead, I grabbed my sunglasses and purse and hopped in my little topless car and spent nearly three hours riding the roads, listening to the radio, and reveling in the feel of the sun and wind on my face. While my little car may not be the convertible of every grandma's dreams, or even entirely random, I've found it is a consistent lift to my spirit to drive -- probably because I don't have to drive it unless I'm in the mood.

On top of the joy of winding through the gears on some of the winding roads, I went to town and hit the greenhouse where last year I loaded up for the garden that went nowhere (it was a horrible season) and finally bought most of the plants i was lacking for this growing season. And enjoyable outing, especially when the total wasn't nearly what it would have been at the large home improvement store where I had stopped to pay on my credit card, and I had the pleasure of watching the woman who owns the greenhouse planting cucumber seeds. Now this is down home growing and the next best thing to doign it myself.

The greenhouse visit also took me back when I stumbled across a small flowering maple on one of the tables, reminding me of one I had many years ago and lost to some plant malady. The small plant with its single flower joined my collection of herbs and garden plants, even after I saw several more showy versions on another table.

But my joy wasn't limited to Sunday afternoon, or a convertible, or greenhouse plants.

The baby was not in the best of moods Sunday, which normally would be a bad thing, but holding her through church service as she fell asleep in my arms helps ease the pain of what I was missing. She helped remind me to hold on to what I have and not miss the moments because of what I do not have.

On Saturday I went to shave down a Great Pyrenees that I've been shaving the past three springs. It's a back breaking, time sucking job, but the dog is a gentle giant and I had the chance to visit with his owner, who I've known since she was in high school and I worked with her mother. When I went in to clean up I saw the most beautiful miniature rose on her breakfast bar and when I came out I told her I adored it. She said it was for me, that she'd been thinking of me a lot and wanted to give me something for Mother's Day.

Earlier in the week the girls and I created my daughter's Mother's Day gift -- a painting made using baby feet prints to create flowers. Have you ever tried to paint a baby's feet? With acrylic paint? We were all laughing from the effort to keep her from touching her little feet as I tried to paint them yellow and transfer the paint to the canvas. The end result was worth the effort, although E1 did complain that E2 beat her to the color purple and she had to use pink.

Finally getting the "new" pool assembled and ready to start cleaning on today so that I can get it filled up ASAP. The temperatures have already climbed and I think we're more than ready to try out a bigger, better pool for at home family fun and beating the heat this summer.

I know that if you're grieving, this has been a tough week. I know when all the world is focused on one thing that we cannot bear to focus on, it makes the days that much tougher. I also know that by turning my attention to what I have, by not being held down by what is missing, the days can still be good and fun and full of joy.

Make happy happen. Look for joy because whatever you've lost, life is worth living happy.

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