Sunday, September 15, 2019

Good Morning,

I'm awake a bit too early this morning but I have a chance to write, so I thought I'd seize the moment.  

I've been trying to take better care of myself lately by going to the gym at least twice a week (shout out to my Sculpt friends at FlyDog Yoga!) and walk at least 3-4 times a week.  I really prefer to walk outside just so I can breathe in that good Virginia mountain air and reduce my anxiety level from breathless frantic to somewhere near manageable (let's be honest--it RARELY seems manageable to have five children who are nearly three years old and work full-time).

Still, on my walk, I like to jam with Pandora.  Another One Bites the Dust. Devil Went Down to Georgia.  OneRepublic.  LinkinPark.  I jam and I love it.  I groove.  I walk.  I breathe.  It's good stuff.  

One song really triggered me the other day.  You'll laugh when I tell you, but it really meant a lot to me to make this realization.  The song was Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars.  This is a song I used to love--it was a song that when it came on the radio, I really thought good things were coming my way.  

I specifically remember one Sunday morning years ago waking up and taking a pregnancy test.  It was positive.  I called my mom.  She called my sister.  We laughed giddily on the phone and hung up with toothy grins and big plans.

It snowed the night before and our sweet dog Ellie loves the snow as much as I love double stuffed Oreos (read:  ALOT).  I pulled on my deep purple puffer coat, plugged in my earphones, and took Ellie out to play in the snow.  
My sweet ten-year old Ellie
I remember playing Uptown Funk, thinking to myself, "Good things are coming.  We are going to have a family.  He or she is going to have the sweet brown eyes of my husband and the laugh of my Daddy.  They will love National Parks like my father in law and jewel tones like my sister.   This baby will be one for the history books.  Let's go, Bruno Mars."

I danced in the snow with Ellie.  We threw snowballs.  I did grapevines back and forth and laughed heartily as she darted in between the snow "drifts" (Virginia style).  The beat pulsed in my soul and I just knew this joy would carry me though the next nine months.

But then, as most of you know, we lost that baby.  And I rarely listened to Uptown Funk ever again. I felt like that joy wasn't even real.  That because the thing that I hoped for didn't happen, I couldn't access that joy anymore.  It was almost as if that joy had died alongside my baby.  I have felt this way for years.

But just this week, it's almost has if God has peeled away those scabs from my eyes and allowed me to see that that joy was indeed real.  That joy was authentic and it still exists in my heart today.  No, I won't hold that child in my arms until I get to Heaven, but just because joy precedes loss doesn't mean that the joy dies with the loss.

So many of my friends and family are experiencing loss, grief, and sickness.  Even kids going to college or kids going to pre-school.  Divorce, deployment, or even just loneliness in a marriage.  

The message that I've been given today is if you're grieving or feeling a sinking sense of sadness, that feeling doesn't mean that the joy you felt in another moment wasn't real.  Joy is joy no matter what and we shouldn't repress those memories just because the outcome wasn't what we hoped for or what we expected.

I'll leave you with some Uptown Funk.  Let us keep dancing, despite our grief. Our joy was real.  It is real.  No matter where we are today.

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