There are days when my emotions bubble closer to the surface than other days. Stories that I hear are more poignant. Even if they are reports told on the TV by dispassionate newscasters. These stories prick my heart. This seems especially true when I am already feeling some grief.
Just over a month ago, Arden’s mother passed away unexpectedly. All of her family and her friends have been learning to cope with our new normal since she is gone. This is a common for everyone, I know. But what I hadn’t realized before this was that during the season of processing my own grief, my emotional reactions would be heightened, especially when I heard that others were experiencing loss and heartache.
The other day I was feeling particularly downtrodden. I learned that a few of our friends in different cities, had children in the ICU of their hospital, loved ones of ours were diagnosed with cancer, others we knew are already on hospice. Two other friends were in the hospital battling serious life-threatening illnesses and three friends had just lost a parent. The weather that day was cloudy and rainy in Seattle, and so was my outlook.
Nick was in his room sorting his brochures. I said hi as I passed by. Looking toward me he said, “You be happy mom.” I stopped. I marveled that again he had noticed what was going on with me. I said, “Nick, sometimes I am sad.”
Pausing, he leaned forward and gesturing toward me with his free hand, he said, “You be happy mom. Ok? You be happy.” It wasn’t a suggestion, it was a directive – almost a decree. I listened.
Happiness is a choice. I know that. And sometimes life experiences can come so fast and furious that I forget that it truly is my choice. I am grateful that Nick notices when I need reminding. I want to share this message with you. I choose Joy!
Take Nick’s challenge, “You be happy.”
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