It was so strange when those words came out my mouth last night. I was surprised. I was taken off guard. And yet it is true. Life is good. Life is hard - really hard right now. But my life is good.
Laura Bush was in town at a book signing for the new children's book she wrote with her daughter Jenna - Read All About It. It is an adorable book! Jose' and 3 girlfriends came along to meet her and get the book signed. We waited in a long line in the rain - how does that happen in sunny California during Memorial Day weekend?
In full disclosure, I should mention the first 5 minutes weren't so much fun. I arrived early and was in line alone. There was a precious little baby girl directly in front of me and a pregnant woman behind me talking about prenatal vitamins and cesareans. Since I was alone I didn't have an escape - I started to freak out a little. I called my husband three times trying to get through to him. Hearing his voice mail was better than the conversation behind me. I felt trapped and then he finally arrived to save me. It was one of those, "Are you kidding me?" moments. There is a huge line and the only infant and pregnant woman I see are directly in front of and behind me. What luck!?!
Everyone arrived soon and the baby and the pregnant lady no longer had my attention. We talked and laughed as we waited to see Laura. We checked out the cute Secret Service men for my single friend. We shared plans for the weekend, recaps about the day and whatever came to mind. It was totally normal. It was so nice.
We met Laura, had our books signed, Jose' went home to watch the Laker's and Angel's games and the girls went to dinner. We were seated in big cushy chairs, still glowing from seeing the First Lady, Diet Coke was flowing, the food was served and looked amazing, three great girlfriends were with me and then it happened. "Life is good" came out of my mouth. Silence. In my mind I started questioning myself, "Did I really just say that? That didn't just come out of my mouth. How could it? Did I forget the storm I'm still in?"
Then I found the answer, "Life is good." Life is really hard - more frequently than I would like. But my life is really good too. I have dear friends that I enjoy and who love me, support me and laugh with me. Enough money to buy books and dinner. I got to meet the First Lady of the best country in the world. I have a husband who loves me. We have a home, multiple cars, jobs and money in the bank. We're healthy and our family members are relatively healthy. I have a great life. There are things that I could complain about - and I do, trust me. But all in all, I have it pretty good. And unfortunately, I don't always remember the great things I have in my life. The good life coexists with pain.
There are so many blessings, even in the midst of extreme loss and pain. I'm grateful. I'm thankful. I'm full. There will be more times when I feel empty - and it could be 15 minutes from now. But right now, I am full and I am happy. The crazy thing about grief is that I can move from happy to sad in an instant - and without warning. It is part of the process. Last night was a turning point for me. I was OK enjoying "happy." I didn't feel guilty. I enjoyed it. I was present in that moment. I over analyzed it, but that is what I do, and it will require counseling to correct.
I typically want to blog when I'm sad so I wanted to be sure to share this happy experience. In talking with a few people who have read the blog they were under the impression that I hadn't left the house and was in a really dark place. I have very low points in my grief, but they pass. Most of the time I'm doing OK. It seems like I have one really bad day a week but the rest of the time I'm able to run errands, etc. My energy isn't what it used to be, yet. Sometimes I don't have the energy to answer the phone, but that passes too. Grief is a moment to moment experience. And even when I'm at my lowest, I know it is only temporary. I want to remember that. But I also want to enjoy the good times - not focus on the fact that they will pass too. Life is such a balancing act.
Thank you to all my new friends in the blogosphere. You are such an encouragement and comfort. I love to hear that people are visiting the blog and to read the comments and emails. They are such a blessing! When I'm having sad moments that support makes such a difference and means the world to me. You'll never know how much they help.
Many of you have heard the Mercy Me song Bring the Rain. The lyrics remind me that God is bigger than our pain. And it is true that because of the pain I'm able to recognize the joy and appreciate it even more. I wouldn't choose the pain, but I am able to see the beauty in the storm.
I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray
Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain
I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain
So I pray
Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
I just remembered, Mercy Me is performing at the fair in July and we will be there to hear them sing this song. Life is good.
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