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Finding My Joy... How about You?

Today marks the 6-month of my dad’s passing. Gosh. Time flies and it seems so long ago but most of the time it seems like just yesterday. All the memories come flooding back of that day..........

In among setting up for my daughter’s wedding that was taking place in a few days, we receive that awful call telling us that dad's pain had ended and with that we headed into the city. We say our good-byes. We sit and we cry and we laugh and we try our’ darndest’ to make sense of this and to wrap our heads around it. And then, after some time, I say something which haunts me to this day, “well, I gotta get back to work.” I remember my sister saying, “really, Tam?” And I felt awful and disrespectful. But the truth was that in that awful moment there was a truth that was hard to comprehend, life was going to continue. Life was going to move on. So back we went - Bernie, mom, sister, brother-in-law, me - to the farm to continue decorating and preparing for the JOY that was to come in just two days. Amidst tears and laughter we celebrated a wedding and mourned a passing.

Today, all those memories flood back.

As it so happens, we are leaving on holidays tonight. So I will not forget my dad over the next week but I will try not to dwell on the heavy loss of him. Instead I will try and dedicate my events over the following week to him – in his memory.

So in his memory I will:

Drink coffee – every chance I get, except after 7 (Because I do need to sleep! For some reason, dad could drink coffee at all hours and still sleep – albeit it was often in his chair in the living room!)

Drive – dad enjoyed road trips with mom, so our driving will remind me of their endless road trips (mostly road trips because mom was afraid of flying – but nonetheless – road trips! (I inherited the same fear, unfortunately!))

Visit with abandon – Dad loved people and people loved dad. He shared corny jokes and he listened with full intent of listening. Not planning ahead to what he wanted to say. But to really listen. So I will share funny stories. I will laugh. And I will try very hard to really listen.

Shop – Yes. Shop. In memory of dad, I will drag Bernie around from store to store in Canmore. In and out of art shops, coffee shops, hopefully used book stores, unique clothing shops – always snaking our way to the back where the sales racks are located, fun little novelty stores and more. Mom enjoys shopping – and whether dad did or not – he accompanied mom faithfully. Once in a while he would gently encourage mom to check out that store over there while he grabbed a coffee and people watched. But his patience was endless and so… Well, I guess this is really more about Bernie honouring my dad – hmmm – still sounds good to me!

Love – Love my husband – listen to him – spend precious time with him – value him. Dad always treated mom with dignity, respect and love.

Rest – remembering that dad is at rest and peace and that he would want for me to also rest in that promise.

What about you?

What will you do this weekend that finds the positive? Maybe you are not heading out on a holiday or maybe you just returned and the upcoming week looks overwhelming – how can you find the joy in the moment? We humans meander through life trying to figure it out. Are/did we: at the right job; dating the right person; raising our children well; listening enough; being kind enough to our neighbours; questioning ourselves on whether we should have or shouldn’t have given the guy on the corner some money; worrying we talked too much; cared too little; dressed appropriately; said the right thing at the interview; played hard enough; read the text right; sent the text wrong; got enough Likes and Loves?

There are so many times that it is challenging. And the truth is that sometimes life just sucks. But as I age… rather rapidly, I might add, I read stories, see pictures, listen to people and see that in all circumstances, there are tiny rays of joy. (I guess I need to tread carefully with the word ALL, I am sure there are places so dark that no ray of light can bust through… or so it seems. And for those of you in that terribly dark place, I pray that you may find a way to crack through that darkness. You may not believe in God – but I encourage you to try Him again – in my walk, He is the only light that can get through the darkest of darks.)

So my challenge for you this week is to find the joy. Whether it is an amazing memory of a dear friend now departed; a verse that you can hold on to; an outing you can take; a friend you can call up; a picture you love to look at; a flower budding (with this warm weather, anything is possible!).

Whatever it is – share it with me. I’d love to hear how you found your joy this weekend. Comment under my Facebook blog link.

And I in return, will share my joys as they come up this week. It is hard to face that six-month mark of losing a very special man, but in my heart of hearts I know that he would want to hear my joys… and yours too for that matter!!

Let me leave you with these two verses.

Romans 8:18-21 The Message (MSG)

That’s why I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.

Romans 8:26-28 The Message (MSG)

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

“God is good,” said Frank, “all the time, God is good.”

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