Happy Days

Happiness and guilt. For whatever reason, these feelings sometimes go together. In a week that has been filled with abundant peace and tranquility, I realize how foreign happiness and freedom now feel. On a few occasions I have had to stop myself from becoming alarmed. What should I be getting done right now? Who do I need to worry about? Is this even allowed? are all questions that flood my mind.  I feel strangely awkward, like maybe I don’t deserve to feel this way. And then I remember. 

This is it. 

This is what we’ve been working toward for ten months. This feeling. This moment. This opportunity to stare into heaven and simply say, “Thanks.” Driving home from Target the other day, I did just this. As I took in the warmth of the sticky, sunny day from my position behind the steering wheel, I began to cry. I wept in happy gratitude as I remembered praying for a day just like this last fall. In my old life, I couldn’t appreciate a day in which I only had to run errands or sit on the couch and write. I didn’t realize how special it is to sleep in your own bed or get a text from your husband in which every word actually makes sense. In the time since our family’s last health debacle, I had forgotten the gift of simply enjoying an emergency-free day. Instead I spent a lot of time focused on how small our home is, where we’ll live next, and how to make life better in the future. Very rarely did I acknowledge how wonderful and charmed my life is in the present.

This is the gift of perspective. And while I sure as hell wish we hadn’t had to pay such a lofty price for it, I can see my happiness with much more clarity these days. The collective blood, sweat, and tears have earned us this brief moment. I don’t know how long it will last, but I do know enough now to appreciate that it won’t last forever. No one is entitled to a lifetime of happy, lazy days. We simply have to be wise enough to recognize when one comes along and savor it without guilt.

There are a few instances in life in which you are forced to your knees in prayer. In August I got down, ripped my chest open for all to see, and prayed loudly for help. This week, I got down, unleashed happy tears, and shouted thank you for answered prayers. Thank you, Universe, for listening. Thank you for a second chance. Thank you for letting me see what was right in front of me the whole time. Thank you for today. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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Don’t know if there’s anything better than silly moments at home with family

4 thoughts on “Happy Days

  1. I could print again that Nina Simone song I sent you in reply to one of your posts, but I felt so silly after I did it the first time. The feeling is still the same though after reading this post. I will leave it at that!
    So happy for you. Coming soon to bookstores everywhere: the NY Times bestseller by you!

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  2. I wept while reading this, because I could have wrote it. If I had a mantra it would be “life is all about perspective”. While we don’t know each other we have a very different but similar path. I went to Ryken and know Claire from mutual friends in the county and going to UMD together. I follow your story through her. One day in the fall of 2010 our life changed forever we found out while pregnant my son had a less than 5% chance at making it. Two surgeries in utero later, and countless nights on my knees in pray later my son was born at 31 weeks and breathed!! My worries over the perfect nursery, and outfits were out the window… it was now how long would his kidneys last, his condition had taken its toll on his kidneys and we now had new battles to fight. We lived at the hospital, zombies at best adjusting to our new life. A common cold would mean a week admittance for us. He threw up every day for a year, I prayed and prayed for him to be able to eat solids… then it came that day where I looked down and realized he hadn’t thrown up… or the day I realized even with his messed up stomach muscles he was walking… or the day I realized he was growing again (he didn’t for 8 months)… and then I realized it was all about perspective. There was always something to be grateful more, a moment to cherish and I needed to savor those little victories, be truly grateful and hold onto those moments for when the harder times come. Thank you for these tears, thank you for showing me that while our journeys are so different, they are also the same and most importantly thank you for reminding me to always thank God for all I have!

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  3. Dear Abby, I admire the amazing young woman, wife, and mother you are.None of us know the road ahead except God, and he chose you for TC long before you two had even met because he knew this day was coming and that you were the one who would have the strength and the courage for both of you. God is with you every moment Abby, just trust him and call on him, he will provide for your every need whatever it may be. Thank you for being such an inspiration to so many! Love and Hugs to you always xoxo

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  4. You are an amazing person with such enormous talent. I was so happy to read this post and know that you have has reason to smile in recent months. I truly admire you.

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