Friday, February 22, 2013

Moments of Joy - Seeing Light After the Darkness

Eleven months ago I received an unexpected phone call.  It brought shocking and devastating news - my dear friend of almost 30 years had died suddenly during an overnight visit to the hospital (for pneumonia).  Janis was only 43 years old, happily married, a loving mother of three boys aged 11, 8 and 5, a hugely successful career woman who had a life of travel and a huge network of family, friends and colleagues.  We were all unprepared and shocked by her sudden death.  Janis and I had met on the first day of high school and soon we were best friends, our high school days filled with sleepovers, school activities like music and yearbook and school council and fundraising and travel, talking about our future and our dreams.  One of our high school friends eventually became her husband, and he is also the friend who introduced me to the man who would become my husband, so lots of good times and good memories for all of us.   

We organized a dance-a-thon fundraiser at our local mall back in 1986.
Her death filled me with sadness and disbelief, feelings of helplessness and a loss of control filled my thoughts every day in the weeks and months following her death.  I needed to take more time to appreciate each day, I needed to find the joy in simple things and really learn to appreciate them.

A day together with our families in 2008.
The first time I consciously noticed something simple bringing me joy was a few months ago when I was in the car in a parking lot.  I took the keys out of the ignition and opened the door.  I had left the headlights on and as a warning, the car sang out the sweetest and gentlest song of reminder to me.  It filled me with a sense of happiness that I got to hear that song and thought it was a lovely way to give warning (why couldn't my alarm clock sing such a pretty song?)  I considered writing my feelings down at that moment to remember and appreciate how I felt, but, I didn't and I promptly forgot about it.  Then it happened again a few weeks later and I remembered the sound and the joy it brought me before.  I knew I had to write it down to truly appreciate it and I decided sharing those "Moments of Joy" could benefit more than just me, so I am sharing on this bigger platform with you, my fans and friends from the various corners of the world.  I think a weekly post will force me to look for those moments that bring me joy and I am happy to find moments like these in a world that is sometimes sad and dark.  I would also love to hear about what brings you joy.  There are days when I need all the help I can get!

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