It seems the more beautiful the day, the more hurt I feel, the more surreal our loss. "How can she be gone.?!"
And yet, she is.
These moments, as difficult as they are, teach. As I wrestled with the same old questions, I realized the choice that faces me and from which I often turn. I rebel from Joy. It feels like I am turning away from my girl, that I am leaving her. Still, I had to deal with the choice I am refusing to make and as I did all day long these are the events that occurred.
...I watched two teachers celebrate learning. I watched their students perform for them and dedicate original books to them and I saw the light these two teachers had "poured into" their students. Creativity ran rampant and talent amazed those of us in attendance. Joy rested comfortably in this classroom as it is has clearly found a home with these students and teachers. Tears filled my eyes as the students dedicated their books to the "Queen of Science" and the trust established in that space.
....A student of mine from Midwest City and I shared dinner. Kalyn is a grown woman, now, with children of her own and her own mission and purpose. We visited for over three hours as if it were twenty years ago and we were planning a pep assembly. As I listened to her tell me stories about her kids, I thought, "She has no idea what she is giving me."
What Joy there is.
...I received a package in the mail, No signed card. No return address. Just this note:
...I laughed, genuinely, with my friend.
...My childhood friend sent this verse: ""When you go through the water you will not drown. When you go through the rivers, you won't go under..."
...My cousin shared her heart, again.
...My friend Jo sent pictures from Taylor's childhood and when she and Jo's daughter were inseparable and adorable.
...My son's deep laughter with his father over a text message to a girl reminded me why I chose his daddy.
I realize the choice I have to make, that I have failed to make in days past and why I have failed to make it. I am thankful for the gentle ways I am told, "You will not drown."
I am thankful for the Joy that is placed in front of me even when I fail to pick it up. I am thankful.
I will choose Joy. I will.