I would say this has been a hard week, looking back, even though I might not be able to put a finger on why.
I think it is the sense of grief that has hung around several of my friends, new and old, who within a few days timespan of one another marked the anniversary of their child's death. My Facebook news feed contained a trickle of pain that some days felt more like Niagara Falls. All those pictures of our children we'll never hold again in this world. Gone 11 years, gone one year, gone a month; dead in vehicle accidents, drug overdoses and drownings; snatched from our lives in a heartbeat that wasn't followed by another while we were going about the business of living.
Most of the young people I never knew; two of the mothers I've never met face-to-face, but their pain resonates in my heart each day and I knew the grief that only we can understand and share. It's been six months since I heard my son's voice. Sunday will mark a six-month anniversary for me and although I hadn't thought to give it weight, the weight of other's pain has added to my own. And for the first time the actual date, the 15th, will also be the same as it was in December.
So it has been challenging to think about trying to find random joy this week, which meant I needed to do it even more than on a week when the list could be endless.
Babies, dogs and reptiles still delivered the odd smile, even if sometimes I had to brush away an unshed tear to do so.
2. Another tiny turtle. This one was even tinier and so shy it would not stick its head out to entertain the baby, but E2 was delighted by it all the same. Since it was so near my home, she had the honor of taking to the garden to release it.
4. A baby sleeping in my arms through Sunday school class. Yes, she was hot, and heavy after a while, but it was such a sweet burden to hold E3 when she dozed off without her pacifier or blanket. Plus, she awoke in a much better mood.
6. The pool. Growing up I would never have dreamed I'd have a pool, mainly because no one had pools except country clubs and the indoor one at the Y. I don't swim well, probably for the above reasons, but I love my pool. It is a temporary, above ground one, but it's got salt water, and I can fall into it after mowing or anything else and be so refreshed and immediately cooled. Not only that, but it's a wonderful place to contain and entertain the girls on a hot day and it's finally big enough, after two summers in one of the easy set models, for floats and multiple adults and children.
7. A quart of red paint for my front door, well crimson paint actually. I've always wanted to paint the front door red. It's supposed to be good feng shui to have a red front door and I'm about to have one, except I forgot to buy a paint brush. Still, I have the paint and the plan, and it's good to have plans.
So it took some dredging, but I came up with seven. I figure one for each day of the week and I can pull them forth and polish them off if this coming week is as hard as last week.
I keep reminding myself that happiness isn't a destination, it's what happens along the way and I've got to work to have it each day because I'm never going to get there. It has to be within me as I go.
Do the same, whatever hard battles you're fighting. Recognize the joy because you can bet you won't miss the pain when it comes. Try to see happy when it happens.