The Statue


For her it began in a warehouse; just a rough cut of stone alongside hundreds of other potential projects. Yet despite the bleak appearance of her surroundings, the Sculptor’s storehouse was an intriguing place to be. The atmosphere was vibrant and the rows of waiting bedrock were often bursting with tales of the Master’s renown from all corners of the world. Sharing stories of His demand among the elite art collectors and the ever growing value of each of His original pieces. His talent had become legendary and the wait list for His work continued to grow. Each unfinished slab waited in anticipation of the day they would be chosen and of what the Artist would render them to be.

It was common knowledge that His work was always commissioned. No project was ever started before a destination had been secured. So there was never any fear that he would start something and abandon it; each time He picked up His tools there was someone waiting for the piece to be completed. He drew inspiration from the uniqueness of each rock and never missed the potential hidden beneath. The full dimensional figure went straight from the Creator’s mind to the stone itself.

In every direction she was surrounded by so many beautiful and precious rocks. There were cuts of soapstone and alabaster, a softer stone prized for its translucency and manageability. Limestone and sandstone which were excellent for carving; and even more precious stones such as marble, travertine, and onyx. Each highly coveted mediums due to their beauty and the vast array of colours they possessed.

She was none of those, but rather a grey granite with ribbons of white throughout. Nothing that stood out among the rows of other rock and something she had rarely come across during her time in the storehouse. And though being the most durable of all the sculpting stones correspondingly it was also the most difficult to work with. This knowledge sometimes stung, but she stubbornly held to the fact that the Master knew all of this and had bought her anyways.

When the time finally came for her metamorphosis the rumours had reached her long before the Sculptor arrived. Though she tried to keep calm she was filled with excitement and pride unable to envision what she was stepping into. Every story she had ever heard of this artist tumbled around her head as she was moved to the workshop. He was kind and gentle and yet His presence commanded such respect and admiration. As He gazed upon her rough edges and shapeless form she felt a moment of shame for being so imperfect. But The Master’s look was filled with such a powerful confidence she was enveloped by it.

He picked up his chisel and mallet and began pitching pieces off her figure. It was startling at first as she saw large masses fall to the ground and smash into tiny fragments. Some were ones that she had imagined might be the best parts for the Master to use and gave her doubt that He would find what He was looking for underneath it all. She was quiet as she watched and waited for the Sculptor to finish the roughing in. When the first step was done she felt raw and exposed. But she reminded herself that even though for her this was all new He had done this many times. Not only was He the expert He was making her special for someone.

The hours in the Master’s shop accumulated into days and she marvelled as He slowly brought shape to her form. His work was resolute and faithful. He never had a moment of hesitation or uncertainty. While He worked she would daydream of her future and the one who was patiently waiting for Him to finish. She wondered if their excitement matched hers. If they had ambitions and hopes of the future as well.

Somehow even though The Sculptor’s tools never touched inside the rock she was changed there too. Peace and Joy filled her and at the end of every day she was overwhelmed with the hope and assurance in each new change. Now not only was her external form new, but her soul had begun to take on the heart of her Sculptor.

The day finally came when the Master was content for His statue to be placed with the intended recipient. She was nervous and in many ways still felt inadequate and unfinished. But she had learned to trust Him.

The feelings of anxiety soon faded as her new home became her sanctuary. She was deeply loved and cherished. Every part of her was displayed proudly and she continued to feel confident in the skill of her sculptor. The Master came to visit at her new home and sometimes he would bring His tools. Whenever He would leave she could see that His talent was second to none and she was proud of the work that He had done in her. Sometimes His visits would be farther apart but it seemed that no matter when they asked He had time to come. It was impossible not to see how perfectly the one whom she had been made for fit her. Never had she felt so whole. She was content. They were content. And the foreshadowing of the durability and difficulty of her granite left.

But eventually the devastation came. The earthquake shook her home and broke the walls. The floods came and washed everything away. And fire burned anything that had survived until all life was turned to ash.

When it was over she looked around to see she was alone and the landscape was desolate. She was left with nothing and the one who had cherished her was not around to protect her anymore. When she looked down she was ashamed at what the storm had done to her. Broken and black from the fire she could see she was not useful for much. Instinctively she wanted to call for the Master, but she was afraid that He would no longer have a use for her. She was disfigured and the one whom she had been made for was gone.

So she picked herself up and tried to fix what she could; relying on her resolve she kept moving forward. The strength of her exterior served her well but she was covered with scars and deep cracks. She tried to remember how the Master had worked doing her best to repair His damaged work. Sometimes her repairs lasted for a while but they could never hold up for long. She found it was easier to just hide the brokenness. Many days she came so close to asking the Master for help, but then shame and fear would drive her away.

In a moment of desperation she cried out to Him and in an instant He was there. No tools just His steady arms reaching out and His eyes saying ‘come as you are.’ Though hesitant, she came with her head hanging low. Knowing she did not deserve His grace and fearful of what the future would hold for her now. The half she had fit so well was gone and she had come to realize she could never make it on her own.

He took her back to the workshop and stripped away all that she had used to cover the damaged parts. He looked at her as if she was ready for the first time, and then He brought out the finishing tools.

In His gentleness he began refining her. With His broad sweeping stokes that which had been defeated began to transform into the tiniest of details and come to life at His touch. Hidden underneath her grey exterior, ripples of the most delicate pink granite came through. The patterns swirled throughout her form and as he began to polish her they shone as beautiful marks of what she had survived. Never had she experienced such love. Never had she felt so exquisite.

Amidst all the emotions engulfing her in that moment she felt confusion. Being unable to comprehend why this world renowned sculptor would take the time to make her beautiful again when there were so many new pieces to work on and no one left to appreciate any labour wasted on her.

His gaze rested on her and in His eyes she could see that He knew the depths of her thoughts. He reached out to wipe the tears from her cheeks and said, “My dear creation I only do guaranteed work, in that you are right, but it has always been that I commissioned you for me.”

This Mother’s Day


You and your brothers have made me a Mother. You are the reasons that people wish me a happy Mother’s Day. And it IS happy, it’s the best thing in my life, but it still breaks my heart. How I long to place your homemade card on the mantle, and accept the dandelion bouquet from your chubby fist, to have you run to me and wrap your arms around my neck; and, because you couldn’t know any better, tell me I’m the best Mommy in the world. 

Grief Makes a Stranger


Grief alters us. An idea we could all agree on. Though I wonder if that change would be more accurately described as a mutation. One so unorthodox that there is a risk it will render the victim unrecognizable.

Many of us have had to grapple with the practical, emotional, and physical changes that death thrusts upon us; yet I am realizing that there are shifts that we often don’t consider.

The modification in status and stage.

I remember shortly after the accident I was registering at a hospital one morning and the woman at the desk asked me my marital status. It was the first time I’d publicly identified myself as a widow and the staggering array of emotions I was flooded with almost knocked me over. At this point I had already been alone for over two months, but in that moment as my lips formed that word, it was as if I was aware of its permanency for the first time.

Normally big changes have a natural gestation period. Layers of lectures and books to start a new career. A set time to go from Miss to Mrs. Many months to prepare for parenthood. Years to move from Diaper-bags to Backpacks. In the end time seems to have moved quickly; yet looking back one can still trace over a dot-to-dot line of all the in-between points that took us from then to now. I believe this is God’s intentional design to assist us as we move through the stages in life.

But with grief or trauma often many of these steps are recast or lost; and we daily face the challenges of loss while navigating a foreign trail. In some ways one is shoved forward and in other ways pushed back. Left trying to bring together all the freshly severed ends and make some semblance of a recognizable timeline.

On the surface it is going from hanging out with other “couple” friends to constantly feeling like the odd one out. Scheduling play dates around nap times to filling up any child-free hours with appointments and errands. Looking forward to quiet evenings at home with the spouse to wanting to get out of the house and break the routine.

Yet deeper still the wrestling match between so many contradictory and confusing needs play out and I find there is no mentor or peer whom I can relate to. Obviously, I am grateful that life has not formed a long line of role models for me to emulate in this scenario; but there is so much fear and embarrassment as I struggle in all this. Wondering if I am seen as emotionally unstable or in crisis. Watching relationships change and reestablishing boundaries. Worrying if I am being judged as I blunder through my new status orientation. All the time feeling like I am a mismatched set, but knowing there is not really anything I can do about it. I have become the toy where the head and the body and the legs don’t match.

Parts of my life relate to being inexperienced, single, and deciding what I want to do with my life. Other parts fit with those who are established and content, eager to finish with the task ahead. And then there is the seasoned veterans with whom I share nostalgia, being left behind, and the anticipation of closing the final chapter.

Trying to reconcile all of these parts seems improbable; giving me empathy for those who have battled grief and decided to walk away from everything and everyone that is familiar. Though I desperately don’t want that. As unsettling as this feeling is I am not eager to run from all that we know, but it leaves me speculating if I will always feel like an alien in my own home.

Spring’s Lessons in Loss


The calendar tells me that the vernal equinox has arrived though the snow still covers much of the yard. But I sense it, we are on the cusp of a new season. And for the first time in a long time I feel as if my life may be ready to shed its winter clothes parallel to the changes around me.

I have heard and talked much of the seasons of grief, but this is the first time since that day I feel like I actually understand what that means. Until this moment it was just a theory untested.

When I look into my yard each day to see the sun rising earlier and the patches of grass and earth growing I feel not only the ache of loss, but also this fragile anticipation. The lawn is still brown and there are no signs of life in the dirt; yet I know underneath this seemingly lifeless layer something is happening. Those early stages of life are waking up and preparing to make their journey out of the dark. As the harshness of wintertime fades new buds, teaming with life, prepare to move from survival to fruitfulness.

It has been a timely reminder in the necessity of allowing each season to run it’s course. I have been on the receiving end of many blunders from the moment that Colin and Madeline left this earth. Trying to put into words how to avoid causing extra pain in these situations is complex. I have perused many articles itemizing the dos and don’ts of grief never finding one that fit exactly. Being such a personal journey it can be hard to truly understand what others are going through even if your stories are similar. Everyone’s “list” and “path” will be unique to them.

But one constant that I believe is so important as you stand beside those who grieve – family, friends, acquaintances, strangers – is to be aware of the season they are in. When that winter storm hits be ready with the parka and mittens, the hot cocoa and extra blankets. And even when you are ready to move on look for the signs in the grieved, not your environment. You may need to keep stoking their fire as you plant your garden and shovel some snow before you head to the beach. Trying to coax that tender shoot out into a winter frost can be catastrophic. Underneath, where eyes can’t see, that root knows when it is right. It won’t be rushed and it doesn’t need you to remind it to grow. Eventually the signs that Spring is on its way will come. Stop. Remain patient. Wait.

As you stand in silence with rubber boots and an umbrella in hand you may be astonished when they finally turn and ask for the tools of Spring. And as alluring as the picture of springtime is in the backdrop of Winter’s grey it is still a time of great challenge with much to overcome.

Even in this new season the hint of summer is not quite on the horizon.

Alone


For the last few weeks I have been mulling over one of my eldest son’s revelations in his Victim Impact statement. “It is hard to make friends.” It devastated me when he wrote it because I could see this reflected in his life as he is terrified to get hurt again. But it has continued to hover over everything since then as I’ve tried to figure out how this truth applied to me. Just like that puzzle piece you aren’t quite sure if it was in the wrong box so you put it to the side and wait to see how the picture assembles. And as more parts begin to fit you hope to be able to tell if this wayward piece is even part of the puzzle at all.

As someone who is very analytical and likes to avoid every crisis I couldn’t tell if I wanted it to interlock or not but recent events have proven that it does belong and it seems so obvious now.

That small sentence is a part of almost everyone’s picture. Making friends is difficult; there is courage behind every new relationship and sacrifice behind every sustained one. I don’t believe that there is any way around this. One cannot insulate themselves from the pain that our interactions bring.

I see two extremes in which we try to save ourselves from this catastrophe: the first one being, my knee-jerk reaction, exclusion. We avoid people and connection. We keep our distance and never really let people in. We find that comfortable boundary within and always make sure to stay on one side of it. The relationships are few and can be shallow as we begin to believe the things about ourselves that we tell others. It becomes easy to think that we are as one dimensional as we portray.

And the other side is over-inclusion. We embrace everyone and try to connect with everything. Our friend list is extensive but often surface. We have lots of relationships but few that are deep or meaningful. When someone starts to get too close we distance ourselves and find a new distraction to focus on. We convince ourselves that we are willing to get out there and we aren’t afraid to get hurt, but in reality we are terrified to let anyone get too close and just use our extensive friendship résumé to excuse how we cycle through people

And as opposite as these two contrasting responses are they share so many similarities. These are the self defence mechanisms that we use to protect our hearts. These are the ways in which we try to minimize the pain that connection brings. And though they continue to fail us we cling to the hope that they make it easier. They both keep people at a distance. They both result in the same sad ending.

Being alone.

So as I start to examine the vacancy in my life that Colin and Madeline left I find myself vacillating between these two extremes. Desperately wanting true connection, but needing to guard myself against the risks involved. And that is the juxtaposition of it all, if you don’t have real relationships it hurts yet if you do have real relationships it hurts too.

And so I sit at my table with that piece in my hand. I know exactly where it goes as it’s matching outline is there staring back at me. I’m still tempted to set it aside and work on something more interesting or even throw it in a different box. But it won’t change the fact that making friends is hard.

Lessons of Loss


The fog continues to clear as we step into it, and in becoming more aware of my environment I look around and feel like my sadness has become a blemish. An undesirable characteristic in a story that others assume I am closing. A natural response for me that is uncomfortable for some and awkward for others. When I am asked if I have finished mourning or am told that true healing would bring only happiness I realize there is a vast disconnect in people’s understanding of grief. In this life there is an abundance of things to mourn; relationships, careers, possessions, and ambitions to name a few. And though all losses share parallels the conclusion of a human life is unique from the rest.

Death is final and with it goes all earthly hope of restoration with that life.

So here is the role that sadness plays: as the ones that we love most dear are taken from us they leave an opening. While learning to survive with this gaping hole we are saturated with sadness. Somewhere along the way we have been taught that the sadness needs to vacate before we can heal. It has been clumped together with all the other undesirable feelings. Like it is only a temporary bandage to stop the bleeding. Yet sadness not only helps the wound to heal, but it becomes part of the scar. It is permanent, like a tattoo in memory of the ones we have loved and lost.

I’m not talking about depression, addiction, or shutting people out; that is sadness that has evolved from an emotion to destructive behaviour. Instead I am referring to the ache that will never leave you. The memories that are always on standby. And the gap in your chest that never fully fills. And as time continues the sadness becomes less potent, but it never leaves. It becomes faithful and comforting. And I suspect that to assume anyone who has suffered great loss could ever be without that sadness would be like cutting someone’s legs off and then asking to be told when they don’t miss them anymore. Would they grow back? Could they ever forget that they are gone? No, probably not. But they could learn to live without them through anguish and struggle. There would be good days and innumerable bad. Life would continue and time would not stop, but all this could not solve the dilemma of being without legs. And those surrounding them and expecting the legless to continue as though they haven’t suffered loss would not be an aid to someone living with this handicap.

Sadness is not a feeling that you are trying to outgrow, but rather a lifelong companion. It might start out aggressive and heavy, but with time it will be content to step back. And hopefully there will come a stage with moments that you fail to remember it is present. But it never leaves and is ready at any moment to remember, relive, and dwell in those spaces of “what if” and “if only”.

If we don’t allow sadness into our lives there is a lot that we will be missing out on. It is what brings the relativity to our happiness, and what allows us to understand the value and depths of our delights. To remind us to treasure life’s true gifts. To find the motivation to live.

So as I begin to embrace the new joys that are in front of me I will not turn my back on my sorrow.

I’m Sorry


For months I had been longing to hear it. And when the moment came I struggled to listen for it through the emotion and the halted speech. I waited while you told us that you wished this wouldn’t have happened and that two families got hurt. While you claimed to have no memory leading up to the impact and that you would undo that day if you could. But in the end I never heard you utter, “What I did was wrong.”

The words “I’m sorry” never escaped your lips.

I had tried to anticipate the worst case scenario. To hear either nothing or a well coached monologue. Preparation being such an ambiguous task. In my mind I wonder if I may have built up the influence that those two words would have on my heart and my healing. Though I do feel that there is power in a genuine confession and I long to know that release. I ache for you to look at me and acknowledge what your actions have done.

I know that your position is not enviable, but as I watched you being lead away by the court officials and my brother go over to hug your crying wife I will admit there were pangs of jealousy. Here’s a man who has been able to carry on with his life for over a year and a half, who has been publicly forgiven by those he harmed most grievously, and who will likely spend less than a year in prison for his thoughtless actions. And his wife, who will see him again, has all of her children to hold while she mourns his brief absence.

I am aware that we could go on about what you have been going through and what you will live with for the rest of your life, but right now this is about me. This is my hurt, and my pain, and my process. When you are so clearly in the wrong you did not respond with an apology to my olive branch. That stings.

Make no mistake, I am not taking back my words. You are forgiven, everyday, sometimes many times in a day. As one who has been deeply forgiven I don’t feel I have the right to withhold that from anyone.

I just have to trust that you are sorry; and hope that you find the strength to offer that to me one day.

Impact


Today was judgement day. We gave our Victim Impact Statements and left everything in the hands of the judge. I’m still reeling and processing, but this is what I said:

I have the impossible task of trying to put into words how this careless accident has effected my life. The outline has listed four main areas to expand on, the first one being the hardest:

Emotional Impact

This is the one that has made me stop every time I try to start this statement. How can I tie down all these emotions to words?  

My husband and I were only a few weeks short of our twelfth wedding anniversary the day of the accident, but we had known each other for almost twenty years. He was a rock in my life, and that of our children. He was the kind of man who was present and engaged with his family. His relationships were authentic and important, with me, with his children, with everyone. We had plans for the future, for our family and for us. We talked often of summers with the kids and doting on the inevitable grandchildren. All these plans were a joint thing, all the decisions that were made we made together. He was my sounding board and honest counsel. Now I have moments and days where I am so overwhelmed with the thought of living all this alone. Not to mention grieving the loss of my baby girl in the midst of it, yet not really having the freedom to truly process her loss because of the fear of not being able to come back from that place of grief. And now being a single mom to 5 & 7 year old boys I don’t have that luxury. And for anyone who hasn’t watched their own flesh and blood die, it is even more tragic then you can imagine. As a mother there is no greater pain. Though a close second would be watching your living children suffer through their own losses.

The layers of the emotional impact of this accident are deep and too numerous to count. I imagine it will be years before any of us can even fathom how profound they are.

Physical Impact

My boys and I obviously had a few scrapes and bruises from the crash; the younger of my sons broke his arm. Thankfully due to much treatment and his age he has healed up nicely, even though his injury would have put most of us into immediate surgery.  

The left side of my body, has never properly healed. My shoulder and hip joints will not stay in their sockets and have to function in a painful and constant state of partial dislocation. I’m currently still doing Physiotherapy, chiropractic, and massage to manage the pain and more tests to hopefully determine the problem. The accident also caused the growth of a mole on my back which developed into pre-cancer immediately after the crash. Within a week it had tripled in size. The affected areas were all removed thankfully, though minor complications have left a sizeable scar. I also had to have a portion of my tongue removed as at impact I bit through it. I still require some dental work to repair damage to my teeth. About half of my hair has fallen out, which we can only assume is a stress response.

Some of these issues may have been negated had there been time for more thorough care that day, but as the boys and I were ambulanced to Red Deer Regional Hospital, my daughter was airlifted to the Children’s Hospital in Calgary. Shortly after my arrival in Red Deer I received word that Madeline was not going to make it and was encouraged to get to her immediately so I could say my final goodbye.

After the car accident my children have both struggled with anxiety and regressive behaviours. Unlike most kids losing a close loved one is a proven reality for them, and my eldest has suffered with nightmares of the accident as he remembers every detail from that day.

Economic Impact 

Money has never been important to me. With my family I could have been content anywhere, though losing Colin has had an obvious impact on that security. Due to his gender, his size and the double degree he graduated with, in education and kinesiology, his earning power was much greater than mine. Teaching and coaching for 12 years gave him great job stability, and the fact that he was superior at it made new opportunities vast as well.  

My husband also had a very comprehensive benefit package through his work. Due to my medical conditions we were fortunate that the thousands of dollars needed every year to keep me alive were all covered under his plan. At the time of the one year anniversary of his death we no longer have access to any of those medical benefits for myself or my children with his plan.

Fears For Security  

I have no fears for my family’s security with regards to the accused driver in this case. Though I do struggle with fear when I am driving. When I come to an intersection, or drive on a secondary hi way, I have lost confidence in others ability to obey the rules of the road. When I say goodbye to family or friends when they have to make a long drive home I experience anxiety.  

Sometimes I’m afraid at night when I hear a noise outside and I know that my boys only have me to protect them. I’m scared when I have to make decisions for our future and how to best parent boys to become young men. When I try to look past the moment in front of me, uncertainty plagues my thoughts.

My biggest fear for security is my boys becoming orphans, or losing another child.

If the merits of this case and sentencing were based on the measure of a man there would be no hope. There is nothing that could match the value of Colin and Madeline’s lives. Nothing could be given or done to equate that loss. If we had time we could listen to hundreds of testimonies from people who lives were drastically impacted by the love and investment of Colin and even Madeline. And many lives that had even hoped for that chance. But in this courtroom all lives are considered equal, and rightly so. 

I want you, the accused, to know that I hold you solely responsible for the loss of Colin and Madeline’s lives, and I am disappointed that you caved to a system which encouraged you to hold off on taking responsibility until you felt it was the most beneficial to you. I also want you to know that I forgive you, and I don’t say that lightly. I imagine the gravity of your thoughtless actions last summer will haunt you forever, but know that there is no hatred here. I’m not hoping to see your life destroyed, there has been enough of that already; and no matter what decisions are made here today it will have no hold on me.

I’ve said my piece and left everything on the table.

For me this chapter is closed.

A Little Box


When I was a little girl my father managed a funeral home. As a kid I spent many hours exploring and playing at Daddy’s “office” being exposed to the many parts and stages of the physical farewells of our culture. Surprisingly it was an inviting place for me. A safe environment to learn so much about loss.

My mother, being a pianist, would sometimes be asked to play in services for grieving families who didn’t have a church or community to draw from. When I was about eight years old my siblings and I were also asked to sing in a service. It was for an infant that we did not know but that day I sang all three verses of ‘Jesus Loves Me’ to a room of strangers. I remember stepping out on to the very familiar platform and not being able to take my eyes off the horribly unfamiliar casket. I had seen my fair share of coffers but never one so undersized. It was white, covered in something soft like feathers, and would have nicely fit my favourite doll.

Just a child myself I had no concept of a grieving mother’s pain, but when I walked out of that service I cried. I remember feeling confused and a little silly for the amount of emotion that unexpectedly came rushing out over someone I didn’t even know. That scene would often play in my head throughout the years and though the sharpness of the memory faded the intensity of my associated emotions seemed to grow stronger with each visit.

There are not many clear memories for me of the days after the car accident, but I do recall the absolute dread I felt about having to pick out a miniature box for my own daughter. As if I was eight again singing in front of strangers unable to take my eyes off a ‘train-wreck’. The fear was so strong and intimate it felt as if I must be reliving a nightmare. So much so that in my relief when I found out Madeline’s body would be allowed to rest in Colin’s arms I remember feeling hope.

Now as I fly home after a Christmas away there is this accustomed heaviness creeping in. Each mile I travel brings me closer to another devastating encounter with a tiny casket. My heart aches and my body dreads facing that little box. The knowledge that it holds the child of my dearest friend, a little girl who will forever be a significant part of my grieving journey, brings me right back to that helpless girl on the stage. Right back to my own goodbyes.

In life these little ones represent the greatest joy and in death they demonstrate the cruelest reality. All in such a tiny chest.

Joyful, Joyful, We Adored Thee


Joy.

This was yesterday’s advent attribute. Such a big part of the Christmas season. Such a huge part of a victorious Christian life. A state of being I have been wrestling with.

I can recite the answers: Joy is not based on your feelings or circumstances. It is vast and more profound than happiness. It is also something that many people in my life hope for me. Though connecting all this knowledge to my heart has been a struggle.

Yet, as I was bombarded by this word yesterday I had an epiphany. You see two years ago Madeline was dedicated on this advent Sunday. It was one of the most poignant and memorable baby dedications I have been a part of and I remember our pastor saying how she was the perfect example of joy personified. Not because of anything she had done, but because of who she was to us. That resonated deeply with my mother’s heart.

So not only did the tragedy of the accident and all that I lost impact my joy, in essence I was robbed. That tiny, fragile, bundle, that joy was stolen from my very arms. Even the innermost longing for joy seems no match for the implausibility of this truth; as I know she is never coming back.

But my daughter didn’t just show up unannounced or without expectation. Colin and I chose to welcome her through our actions and preparation. There was anticipation in our household for her appearance and so when she did arrive we were ready. It was natural for us to have her reside with us because her place had been prepared in advance.

And I believe that this is true too for Joy. I won’t accidentally stumble across it during the day. It isn’t lost under a rock somewhere expecting to be found. It’s not broken or needing a battery replaced.

It lives inside me. It is waiting to be invited to the party. It politely stands behind fear and loathing. It even holds me while I cry. It is hoping I will choose it. And that is probably the toughest thing about it. It is a choice, a decision. An attitude that I have to submit to each and every moment. The pain and sorrow are still very real, but I was never meant to dwell there.

Misery isn’t the only one that loves company.