As our entire community mourns the unexpected loss of our neighbor and friend, a forty-something, happily married, mom of four boys, I struggle to find some semblance of normalcy on my least favorite day of the week, Monday.
Perhaps Monday (or any other day), should be my new favorite day, for the simple fact that I wake up.
It beats the alternative, doesn't it?
Grief is a funny thing.
Really, as funny as it ISN'T --it is.
It makes us reexamine our own shortcomings and forces us to appreciate, if only for a short while, those blessings we might well have misinterpreted as burdens just days before.
The mundane chore, the seemingly dead-end job, and even that derailed friendship are seen in a new light of hopefulness.
And I have to ask myself, am I that naive?
Dare I believe that I might cheat death by simply loving more and living better?
I know the answer to that, just as you do, and so I hold strong to my faith and convince myself that even the smallest changes will point me in the right direction.
Self-renewal however, does little to quell the sadness of an untimely loss-- precisely why I started my day today looking for a little happy.
On any given day, I have a running mental list of all those tasks I should have completed, but didn't.
Somehow, that list never seems to get any shorter.
Today, I completed one of those tasks.
Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my list.
I chose the happy task of sending my sister
(newly relocated to Georgia) and her betrothed,
a Best of Luck in Your New Home gift (though two weeks overdue).
I took the safe route and sent a gift any transplanted New Yorker would love--a box of bagels shipped overnight from an uber-popular Manhattan bakery.
These are the real deal, complete with Manhattan price tag. What should have been an easy order however, turned into a phone-a-gift fiasco that I won't soon forget.
Apparently, multi-grain bagels aren't as popular as I expected where gift-giving is concerned.
My request for "healthier" bagels (yes, I'm aware of the oxymoron) prompted redirection to management and a long enough hold time for me to compose a little ditty to be penned on the enclosed gift card.
At first, I questioned the political correctness of my sentiment, but my phone hostess, 'Amaryllis,' seemed unruffled as I recited my breakfast-napkin prose and so, for the sake of feel-good folly, I made no revisions.
Before I leave you with my jaunty rhyme, I need to explain that the happy part of this task wasn't simply the joy of wishing my relocated sister a bright future, but also a celebration of the past; a past once dismissed as fond but hopeless memories.
Once high school sweethearts (followed by a twenty-two year hiatus), my sister and her betrothed have reconnected, recommitted, and seem more in love than they were in the days of tacky leisure suits and buffalo sandals. Their love story is the stuff great movies are made of.
I would be hard pressed to find a more perfect couple, or one so deserving of a big dose of happy.
Perhaps their reunion might serve as a lesson for those of us who grieve.
Whether we grieve for a lost friend or a lost friendship, it is never too late to remain hopeful.
Though hopefulness cannot bring back our loved ones, or even mend fences, it is the catalyst for healing.
And I'm hopeful that hopefulness will put me on the fast track to happy.
This is My Truth;
*I know you've been waiting with bated breath-
Here's the sentiment as it appeared on their gift card:
"To a shiksa and her goy
Who very soon will wed
We wish you decades of joy
And breakfasts in bed."