Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Joy 59/82: Thanksgiving

It's the day before Thanksgiving ... Richard's favorite holiday.  He loved the abundance of it all ... the food, the gathering of family and friends, the joy of celebration.  It was also his last as he died three days later, almost four years ago.

It's an interesting time, this official season of thanksgiving.  59 days ago I committed to expressing gratitude for the joys in my life for the 82 days leading up to my 65th birthday (that's a lot of numbers!)  And, I definitely have been blessed with incredible joys.  But, many of them of them have come not in spite of Richard's death but actually as a direct result of the changes it set in motion.

That tends to be confusing.  Joy resulting from the biggest loss in my life is a little unsettling.  But the truth of it is undeniable.  I live in a new place I dearly love.  I spend my days peacefully exploring art and my own creativity with almost complete freedom to follow whatever path appears before me each day. I share my life with a supportive best friend and three dogs and two cats and have two lovely granddaughters an hour away.  Life is full and joyous ... to the point that it almost seems disloyal to Richard.  I loved him and I miss him and know that no one would want me to be happy more than he would.  And, yet, it is confusing, this mixture of pain and joy.

Perhaps this is life's lesson.  It is easy to be joyful when life is easy and uncomplicated and just as easy to forget to appreciate it.  It's only after a descent into pain that each new joy takes on a diamond radiance of an unexpected gift.  I don't know why we're here or what life's all about or what happens when life ends.  Those questions fascinate me but I'm beginning to think that it's enough to wake up each morning and give thanks for the joy I feel and recognize that there will be seasons of pain and that both pain and joy are part of this grand adventure of being alive.

Wishing you all a joyous season of thanksgiving.

About the Image:  Richard and Ava, who is now 9.


  1. This is a beautifully written post, Joyceann. Thank you for sharing the photo of Richard and Ava.

    I give deep thanks for your friendship.

  2. Thank you Maureen ... you are a treasure in my life.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing Richard with us. Thanksgiving must be so challenging... how wonderful that you can see the blessings Richard's been showering since his departure!

  4. Be well my friend. In loss their is joy, in pain there is abundance of spirit.

    Your spirit is a beautiful light for all of us to follow.

    Thank you for sharing it so freely. And thank you for sharing Richard with us too!

  5. Diane and Louise ... thanks for your comments and for sharing your lives with me, too. I was an only child before I found my blog-sisters.

    Enjoy the day! (and may Calgary have a freakishly-warm front head its way!)