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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Living Gratefully

In college, my roommate and I had a book called 10,000 Things to be Happy About. It was a smallish, but chunky book that simply listed things that the author was grateful for... things that made her happy. For a while, Alice and I would take turns reading through the book and highlighting the things that made us happy as well... Then we started our own "Happy Journal." I still have it and on occasion (though it's been far, far, far too long) whoever has it will pull it out, write in it and then mail it to the other one. I don't think that I've written in it since Catie died, not because I'm not grateful, but b/c sometimes I think some of the things I'm thankful for might sound strange once I write them down... For instance, how can you be happy about a melancholy evening b/c it makes you feel closer to the daughter you've lost?

But the other night I walked out of CVS w/ Chip snuggled against me (there's something for the pages of our book) and the mugginess of the air hit me... it was the first breath of a hot summer night I've felt this year... and honestly, the first time I really remember noticing it since she died. I know I've felt it, but I haven't noticed it. That muggy breath of air took me back to bike-riding down a hill like I did many a night in the neighborhood I grew up in... and playing kick the can at my Granny's house w/ the other kids in the neighborhood... nights at the ballpark...

It's strange how I'm suddenly able to notice more things in recent months... things that I've experienced in the last 2 years, but have somehow missed. I still miss Catie, in fact, I've really missed her even more the last couple of weeks... but somehow, some of the fog seems to be lifting a bit. A fog that I don't even know that I knew was there.

I think I might have to take to writing in that old journal again, even if some of the things I write seem a little odd.


jandkland said...

I'd say write in that journal--exactly what you want to write. No one's journey is totally like yours. There's beauty in the things you find happy. I'm so thankful to hear that your fog is lifting a bit. That seems like some kind of protection that falls over the grieving for a while. Or maybe it's just a sense of shock and surreality. At any rate, I'm glad it's lifting and that you can fully experience your present life even as you remember the past.


Pam D said...

Jenny, if you have a chance, pick up the book "Shattered Dreams" by Larry Crabbe, if you haven't already. We're reading it in my ladies class, and it's very good. It looks at Naomi, and how her shattered dreams ultimately opened her up to the real joy that God wanted her to experience. And I love the thought of your happy journal.. I may just have to start one of those with my son. How neat it would be to go back in a few years and see what we've written...

Ryan Morgan said...

Can I just be real facebookie and say "I like this!"? I hope noone will take this the wrong way, but I can ALWAYS relate to you best about how much we are thankful for and love our kids. The thought of them not having me or me not having one of them scares me to death. I'm so glad you are noticing all the little things in life again. I love you~ Missy