*Today’s post inspired by this post.
How many of you would describe yourself as “happy”? Is happiness even possible in this lifetime?
Happiness is transitory. I can be happy one minute and deeply saddened the next. I want to have joy which feels more lasting and less fleeting than happiness. Perhaps that’s why James says:
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
When you have joy, you can still experience peace and contentment in the midst of problems. Happiness is a fickle teenager while Joy is a seasoned senior citizen
What are your thoughts about happiness?
Fridays have taken on a whole new meaning for me. It used to be that I could hardly “wait” for the day to come. Now I can barely get through them. No longer do they represent happiness and relief from working. Fridays are sadness, loneliness, and terrible memories that surface. Every Friday I relive that horrible night. Friday is the day all the trouble began.
Saturdays, too, are classified the same as Friday. Saturday was the official day of his death.
And for some reason yesterday (Friday) just felt so much more heavier than usual on top of the forlornness that I normally feel. There were “signs” everywhere that I could not “read.”
- During my prep I made a personal call, and while on hold, I grabbed the nearest magazine (Lady’s Home Journal) to pass the time. The first article I encountered was called “To Happy Endings.” The author wrote about the many problems she had faced in 2008. No matter how many times life surprises you, you never get used to the shock. A year ago I couldn’t have pictured all that has come to pass in my world in 2008: my mother’s death, the end of my second marriage and a raft of other heartaches big and small… Midway through the article it mentioned that she had been widowed in her early thirties! I about fell off of the stool I was perched on!
- After reading her story, the article I turned to next had my husband’s name in large letters! Turns out that one of the adult dogs who played Marley in the movie Marley & Me has the same name as my husband!
- The last feature I read in the magazine was an interview with a mom. The final question asked what she wished her family had money for. She said she wanted money to restore their emergency fund as it had been depleted. She also desired money so that her family could visit her in-laws in (take a wild guess) Morocco!
- During my sixth period some of the students were talking while working on their assignment. A female student was casually sharing the fact that she spent 11 1/2 months in residental treatment. This of course caught my attention because this is the exact amount of time that Evan spent in treatement as well!
- One of my student’s brother, who attends our middle school has been acting out because their father died recently. Her brother’s name is Ethan (also in middle school)!
- I received a call from Eliza’s sister’s cell phone. I did not answer the call and no message was left.
- On Wednesday I kept my friend’s two sons while she went out on a date. They are the same ages as my stepsons. It felt really eerie having them there. Later in the evening she sent a text asking What are my boys doing? This is the way Eliza always referred to Ethan and Evan, Although this did not happen on Friday, it still triggered many memories.
I was haunted all day and night long. Even while I was “stealing time.” I felt overwhelmed and crushed by the memories and what-if’s. Later in the day I was exhausted and took a sleeping pill to stop my wandering mind. But I do wonder if it was all a coincidence or some kind of sign?
2008 has been quite a year for me. I never imagined that I would lose both my mother and my husband in the same year. But as painful, terrifying, and debilitating as it is, I know I will make it. The truth of the matter is that we can live without lost loved ones even when our carnal flesh feels we can’t.
If that wasn’t the case I would have died my first death when my grandmother died in 1994.
And again when my uncle died in 2001.
And again when my great-aunt died in 2002.
And again when my aunt died in 2004.
And I would have died twice this year alone.
I was very close to each one of them.
Yet I’m still here. I have had many comatose moments in the pit of despair since he’s been gone. I am crawling out of it at a snail’s pace. At my lowest points I feel that I can’t go on. However, I know these thoughts are strictly from the devil. He wants me to believe that I can’t exist without him which spawns depression and suicidal thoughts. But the devil is a liar.
No matter what you are going through, and I can guarantee that you will go through something in the year to come, just remember you can make it! I hope to grow and learn from my trials . What else is there to do? Eventually I hope to use my testimony to help other widows and stepmoms through this difficult time. And as long as I am alive, I have a chance to do this. I have lived through a lot of strife in my short time. You can, too!
I hope everyone has a blessed year in 2009!