This morning in my first status post on Facebook I posted a pledge to myself that I was going to use the Advent season to find joy in my life. That I would face each morning with joy for the day and season. That might seem like an trite or shallow pledge, but really it is not as I am hard pressed to remember the last time I was joyful.
I have been away from this blog for a long time ~~ for almost 1.5 years~~ even though much has happened in that time, I did not feel like writing about it. In my last post in June of 2012 I noted that my husband’s cancer had come back and I will speak of that soon. In the meanwhile, I have been reading a blog The Habit of Being and am picking up the challenge they offer: to write daily. They offer a list of prompts and I am joining today. So as this is the beginning of a month there is a new list of ideas for a short write. Today’s topic is to make a list. Ah, easy to do. I make lists on a daily basis ~~ to do lists for my job, lists of books/movie/tv programs I want to read or watch, lists of places I need to go today. . .but that doesn’t seem to fit the spirit of the task at hand. But those lists have no significance; they are temporary. However there is a list I can make that is not temporary and will help explain my morning post on Facebook.
1. In 2011, my parents moved to the town where my husband & I live because my mother was showing signs of dementia.
2. In 2012, cancer returned to my husband’s lungs.
3. In April 2013, we placed my mother in a Memory Care unit of a local facility.
4. In September 2013, my dad joined Mom in the Assisted Living area of the same facility, but just 9 days after he moved in he died of a massive heart attack on 15 September.
5. On 20 September the doctor placed my husband on Hospice Home Care.
6. On 15 October, my husband moved to Hospice House.
7. On 22 October, my husband died.
In the short span of six months I lost three very important members of my small family. So where is joy to be found? After church I checked Facebook to see if any of my family members in other time zones were up and on line. One of my nieces had posted these words from the Sunday School lesson she was to teach today. . . Joy will thrive in life’s triumphs and endure through life’s challenges. Joy is a deep, sincere way to approach life that allows us to know that the hard times will make us stronger and draw us closer to God.
I have been thinking about that idea all afternoon. So that is going to be my approach to life, my challenge for myself. I will not allow sorrow to engulf me; even though everyone tells me that I will, should, must grieve. I will instead take joy from the lives of my loved ones, celebrate their memories, and look for the joy that God means for us to have in his creation and the birth of his son. Advent is the season of rebirth and joy: I will embrace it.
I have been knitting to soothe myself as sitting still is not part of my personality. I need the zen of knitting. So look for future posts to include photos of knitting. I have been reading; mostly audio books, so I can keep the needles moving. So there will be posts about books. I am looking forward to reflecting about my new life (making no mistake my life is radically different and the old life is gone) and sharing my interests.