“It takes sadness to know what happiness is, noise to appreciate silence, and absence to value presence.”
Today I caught myself smiling. It was a real and genuine smile, AND…it’s November. I was amazed. As I walked down the hall to a meeting, I was still smiling. Someone passed me, and they smiled back a little curiously. I don’t even know why I was smiling. I’m not sure if I even had a reason. If I had to pick one reason, I would say that I was smiling from relief. Another BAD November anniversary has passed, and it was easy to see how much better my life is right at this moment than it was last year at this time.
For all of us, life has a way of going in a direction of its own choosing. Who among us is exactly where they thought they would be or doing exactly what they had planned? I would venture a guess that there are relatively few of us lucky enough to have life cooperate to such an extent.
“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
~ John Lennon
As for me, I am waking up from a shell-shocked two years of my life. Escaping from the hell of depression is a pretty f-ing happy feeling. That is why I am smiling. YES! I know that there will be more sad times. Depression has a way of wrestling its way back into your life, but TODAY, not today. So I am happy.
I feel a tinge of fear along with this happiness. I am excited to have all of the kids home and under one roof next week for the first time in months. I’m so excited, and so unused to feeling good, that it scares me. I don’t want to jinx this feeling.
I spoke to both boys this week about their travel plans. They both seem excited to be coming home, too. Each of them asked me about a traditional day-trip we take each year on the day after Thanksgiving. “Are we still going to go?” I was taken aback. I didn’t think either of them would want to go this year. They have such a limited amount of time for this visit. I assumed that they would spend Friday catching up with their friends. I felt humbled and honored that they were both saving that day to be together with their crazy, old mom.
Andrew called last night around 10 p.m. He was absolutely beside himself with enthusiasm and excitement. He had just finished his first film shoot where he was head sound guy. He’s involved in making a short ( 10 minute) film on location in Chicago. I’m not sure if I have ever heard such excitement, hope, and joy in his voice. I have never felt such happiness in another person’s joy. I’m praying, keeping my fingers crossed, and sending positive energy that he stays on this path of finding the happiness in his life.
And now the one confession that I have to make. Oh, I wish I would learn to mind my own business, and T is about fit to be tied with me. I sent Katy (Andrew’s beloved ex-girlfriend) an email. All I said was “Hi, Katy. I just wanted to let you know that I was thinking about you and hope things are going well.”
That one email turned into a series of messages. (What did I think would happen???) I caught her up on my family, and she told me what was going on with her sister and parents. Her life hasn’t been easy this past year. Her sister has been sick with a blood disease. Her father (a mortgage broker) fell on hard times due to the downturn in the economy. I think I knew these things from the final months when Andrew and Katy were still together.
What I did not know was that Katy spent all of her remaining college money on her sister’s medical treatments. She is now in her final year of school and has enlisted in the Army. They offered a full scholarship for her remaining education, and she will be going into the service as an engineer. Good for her. What a good sister and daughter! And now the problem… When Katy was in basic training last summer, a congenital heart condition was discovered. (Does everyone I know have one?) Katy will be having heart surgery in December.
The emails between Katy and I were actually quite brief. In no way did we discuss Andrew and Katy’s relationship. I have no idea if there is anyone special in her personal life. I have no idea if she told me about the surgery assuming that I would tell Andrew. I have no idea what to do! T says that I need to say, “Good luck to you and happy holidays.” In other words, he thinks I need to back off and stay out of it. I’m not sure. Like usual, my heart says one thing, and my head says something completely different.
I haven’t said a word to Andrew. I haven’t even mentioned Katy’s name to him. I will take T’s advice and stay out of it. I’m certainly not a matchmaker, and I’m too jaded to believe in the fate of true love. If Katy wants him to know, she will tell him herself. I will back off and wish her well. In my heart, though, I will say a prayer for her, and for them, and for true love.