Oh, Happy Day!



“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.


4 thoughts on “Oh, Happy Day!

  1. My brother always hated it when my mother was friendly with a girlfriend and he could never understand why they would remain friendly even after he broke it off. Probably a good idea to let Katy tell your son if that is what she wants. Happy for your moment and future moments of happiness.

    • Thank you, Kai. I’m sure you’re right. Why in the world would he want his MOTHER involved in his love life?? He would probably shudder at the idea!

      And thank you for the good wishes!

  2. I’m with T on this one, honey. And I’m a fixer, too. But that’s one of the lessons you (AND I) need to learn, with our kids and our others – that they have to fix things themselves. That’s what gives them to power to survive like we have.

    Where do you go the day after BirdDay? I am highly curious.

    Sitting in the Miami airport, on my own, drinking champagne, watching the light change and planes take off, and could not be happier. And this is so many light years from where I thought I would be right now.

    xo, SS

  3. SS, yep, you’re right, and so is T. I’m not going to say a word or initiate any further contact.

    Where we go on the Friday after Thanksgiving is a crazy little town that was settled by a group of Swedish religious zealots in 1846. They formed a lovely little colony in the middle of nowhere. 🙂 Now, it is kind of an artisan community. I have gone there for the Julmarknad celebration every year since I was a little girl. It was one of my dad’s favorite traditions.

    We eat in a tiny little home that has been converted to a restaurant. The boys like the lingonberry soda. My fav is the spinach bisque, with i seriously doubt is a Swedish dish! We buy a bunch of sweet rye bread to bring home and enjoy with our leftover turkey. This silly little trip has always been the official start of our Christmas season.

    They have a very strange tradition in this little town of chasing little children. Some person wears a basket that is supposed to look like the head of a reindeer on his head. He hides behind trees and such and jumps out at little children. He scared the HELL out of Lola each year, and she is still traumatized each time we go there. That only adds to the fun!! The other kids will get her worked up the entire time we drive there! I’ll try to take of picture of this strange creature and post it!

    I feel strange that I didn’t even know you were going on a trip. Was this sudden??? Well, I hope you have a fantastically wondrous time!!! You certainly deserve it!

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