It's six a.m. ...Can't sleep.
I've been lying here since four, oddly enough being kept awake by feelings of gratitude. Makes me laugh to write those words, but it's the truth. I've had a couple of days off. Monday morning I pulled down the last winter decorations, and that night (with my children) brought 'garage-chaos' into submission. That alone was a happy-healthy moment. Yesterday I cleaned a little bit, decorated for Spring and Easter and made dinner while the kids were at school. In the evening, the boys my son's age at church (and their leaders) came to help us tackle a painting project in the basement; an amazing and enormous help. Being here in our home and in our neighborhood is such a blessing. I cherish days like these when I can just be 'Abby' and 'Mom'. I love 'Abby the Nurse'—what she does and can do—especially how it makes the days here at home possible. Days that I work, we have extra arrangements to make so that life happens on schedule, but we are adjusting. Life is happening and things are going well. We are flowing.
Words seem so inadequate for feelings like this, but I think what I'm feeling is joy. It's interesting to me that I have felt joy purely only after losses. The Christmas I had with my children when they had been with their father the year before; that was Joy! Now, enjoying my home after so many years away; it is an overwhelming happiness and gratitude. That, I think, is what Joy is all about. It is transcendent precisely because it understands the losses as well as the gains and can weigh the blessings in a grateful heart. The arrival of long-awaited blessings and hopes isn't always accompanied by peace and happiness. This has taken some time to percolate. At the very least, it's been peaceful and improving since the storm ended in October. It's funny that in order to arrive at this place of serenity, another dream had to fall apart. I've noticed that the kids seem to feel it, too. While we had a moment of disillusionment following the frightening end of my marriage, we all seem to have reached a place of deeper contentment. We are a family, and we love each other. It's not that I expect to stay in a state of perpetual bliss; that's not what I see as Joy. It is life after all and life is fraught with challenges. I see a number of them out there, I need to prepare, but in the meantime, I am just so grateful. We are gratefully, blissfully, at home. Finally. It is a beautiful, joyous thing.