She sent the picture and I sigh, “I remember when he was the little one.”
I smile when I think of his first word. Not mama or dada but “BALL!” I can still smell his play outside all day self and see him launch the golf ball into the pasture for the dog to retrieve.
He’s not so little anymore. Just yesterday I finished cleaning his room, removing the last of teen boy decorations. I watch as remnants of decorations fall into the trash and hear my hubby say, “You could have left it.”
Joy and grief seem like the most unlikely pair, but somehow both have taken up residence in my heart. It surprises me because I’m an expert when it comes to ignoring sadness. I have this “move on” mentality when it comes to grief. I mean you’re either sad or happy. I choose happy.
I’ve heard rumors of crazy when you get to my age. Is it midlife crisis or something more? Somebody should have warned me. Somebody should have said, “Hey Stacy, a time is coming when you’ll feel stuck between happy and sad. You’ll feel unsure, tossed around, but don’t despair. It is a season to embrace both.”
In less than 100 days she’ll clothe herself in white and wear her great grandmother’s ring. Just one month ago the middle son left his tiny room for a home of his own, and the youngest started driving.
Some seasons are packed with joy and grief. One moment tears fall, and the next you’re laughing hysterically. It feels crazy, but it’s not.
No, crazy is what happens when I strive for happiness instead of Holy. When I demand my own way and allow no sorrow to enter my “happy place”.
Solomon must have know this when he penned these words.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.—Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Joy and sorrow, mourning and dancing, go together. For without one we wouldn’t understand the other.
Living enough is embracing both.