Wednesday, September 5, 2012

In Search of Joy

Good evening, Blogland. I don't often share these sorts of things, so please bear with me. It's been a long, hard summer. Sure, there have been some wonderful highlights, but there has also been a good deal of pain (both physical and emotional). Most of those things I haven't mentioned here, but I'm really struggling with this most recent low and I could use an assist.

About two weeks ago, we unexpectedly lost my 24 year-old brother. His death came as a shock and I don't think any of us is even close to regaining our bearings. Some days are better than others and I'm hoping that an infusion of everyday joy will buoy me on the not-so-good days. So I'm going to ask for a little bit of help from you today. I'm hoping that those of you that read and generally keep to yourselves (I tend to be one of those readers, too) will do me a favor and share a little bit of recent joy from your life.

As for me, tomorrow I'm going to try and focus on our wedding anniversary. I've had eleven special years with the fella I love and we are celebrating our nine years of marriage by floating down a river in a canoe. It may not be fancy, but being alone in nature with my husband sounds almost perfect.

I made him a card to commemorate the occasion. Just a little something to let him know how much he means to me and how much I adore him (both on our anniversary and every other day of the year). He has been a source of strength and comfort in the past weeks and I truly don't know how I would have coped without him.


So here's his card. I used a birdhouse image from Bird Watching and the clouds from Up, Up, and Away (I rolled the ink just on the edges so they would be a little lighter). I colored it with pencils, but didn't pay much attention to light sources or shadows or any of those sorts of things. Just let it happen. The sentiment is from Love Lives Here. I hope he likes it.

Thank you for checking in today and please feel free to share your stories of happiness and joy. New baby? Reached a milestone? Heard a great joke? Bring on the happy.

Thanks, all. I'll be back soon.

Recipe:
Cardstock: Kraft, Simply Chartreuse - Papertrey Ink; white
Stamps: Love Lives Here, Bird Watching, Up, Up, and Away - Papertrey Ink
Ink: Spring Rain - Papertrey Ink; Burnt Umber - Palette
Other: Picnic Plaid Impression Plate, Linen & Canvas Impression Plate, Pinked Edge Die, Lemon Tart Saddle Stitched Ribbon - Papertrey Ink; Colored Pencils - Prismacolor; Mineral Spirits; Adhesive Pearls - Mark Richards; Foam Tape - Scotch

33 comments:

Kara said...

So sorry, Lizzie. Enjoy the peaceful time with your hubby. You are lucky to have the support of what sounds like a wonderful husband! My cousin had a baby today. A little boy:)
<3

Joan Bardee said...

I am so sorry Lizzie. What a shock this must have been. My sympathies to you and your entire family.

Now for your request. Mike got some good news on the job front. Nothing major, but something that made him happy. So that is a nice thing.

And happy anniversary. The canoe ride sounds divine and very badly needed. Hugs, Joan

IamDerby said...

I am so sorry for your loss Lizzie. I can't even imagine. As to happy things: my daughter (she is 12) took it upon herself to teach herself spanish (a few phrases a night) so she can talk to a girl in one of her classes who only speaks Spanish. I am so proud of her and her kind ways.

Julia said...

Sorry can be an inadequate word for your loss but it is heartfelt. My joy today was getting excited for the sneak peeks for Papertrey and the NFL season starts tonight. Sometimes it is truly the little things in life that can give you great joy.

Cheryl said...

Oh, my friend, I am just so sorry! I wish I could hug you in person.

My latest happiness is that all of my kids are in school full time for the first time ever, and they are loving it so far (and so am I).

I also smile every time I think about SAF and how much fun it was to be with such fun women and to sit by you all day!

Much, much love, my friend!

Amy Everson said...

Lizzie, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. My sympathies go out to you and your entire family.

The bit of joy that has happened in my life is that I have completed my last real course in my Master's program and all that's left is my final comprehensive exam.

LittleSurferGirl said...

Lizzie, I am so sorry to read about the loss of your brother. You will be in my thoughts.

My happy story: I was at Staples a few weeks ago buying some back to school supplies for my girls, when I came across *the* roll of foam adhesive. It made me think of you and our day when we were all so giddy. That made me happy, and I hope it does you too, if only for a moment. Hugs.

Kim H. said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your brother. You and your family are in my prayers.

My happy moment: My sons spent most of the weekend volunteering with Scouts and at the church to help our church at their annual festival. I was proud of them.

Joyce said...

Oh, Lizzie, I am so sorry for your loss. I really can't say more than that. Happy anniversary. A joyful thing is about to happen in my life. My youngest daughter will become a Bat Mitzvah in one month and one day. She will stand in front of the congregation, surrounded by family and friends, and will chant from the Torah in Hebrew. Then, we will hang out all weekend with our out of town family and friends. It will be a huge milestone for our family, and a joyous time.

Lori said...

Lizzie,
I am so sorry, no words can take the pain away, only time and adjusting and accepting will take the pains place.
Your anniversary sounds like heaven and please give yourself permission to enjoy and embrace it.
Meeting and talking and laughing with you at SAF was such a joy to me.
I will treasure that time with all of us SAF girls. Remember we are here and will help as best we can.

Sue Ann said...

LIzzie I am so very sorry for your loss~ I wish I had a magic wand to make it go away HUGS!!! I know there have been many times I do not know how I could do it without my honey ~

Elena said...

I am so sorry for your loss... I will share a moment that brought me such joy today: my 2 year old babe came up to me, put pudgy hands on my cheeks and rubbed my face a little and delcared "we are beautiful." Life is so fleeting and the special moments are the smallest...

Leigh said...

Oh, Lizzie, I was so sorry to read about your loss! I will be praying for you!

Happy Anniversary to you and your husband! How wonderful to read of your love for each other!

My joy: my kids start back to school this week, which should leave me with a little more "me-crafty" time.

Hugs to you!

Melissa said...

Oh, sweet Lizzie! I'm so sorry to hear this! I wish I could give you a big hug right now!

Your anniversary plans sound lovely.

My happy is that I am almost done with my half-marathon training and Sunday is the big day!

Thinking of you and your family! <3

Karen said...

You and your family our in my thoughts and I can't tell you how sorry I am for your loss.
Speaking of Anniversaries, on Saturday my husband and I will be celebrating our 33rd year. I hope you are your husband have many more years of joy.

katrynka said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I hope that you and your husband have a wonderful day.

It was great to meet you at SAF, like I said, it felt like I was meeting a famous person! Right now my joy is that my dog with bone cancer has recovered amazingly well from his amputation, and is pain free and happy. He is loving playing with the new puppy.

Lythan said...

You and your family have my deepest sympathy Lizzie.
This morning I have been out walking with the dog by the sea. We moved to the Devon coast (UK) 8 weeks ago and we do this walk (almost) every morning and it always gives me deep joy and restores my soul to see the beauty of God's world around me

Andrea R said...

So sorry for your loss Lizzie. I hope your anniversary get away helps to recharge you and give you strength. My prayers to you and your family.
My good news is that my son started 8th grade with a bang and is actually talking about his "cool" teachers. Hope this lasts!

Kelly Jo said...

Oh Dear God. I wanted to leave a comment on your cute card and was sad to read of your sudden loss. Blessings to you!

Kelly Jo said...

I forgot to mention a bit of joy for me...I turned 40 yesterday and had a lovely dinner with my family. next week my husband and I are taking the week off to go on a road trip- very excited for it!!

Christina said...

I'm so sorry, Lizzie. Sending you my heartfelt sympathy and hoping that each day gets a little easier for you and your family.
Your anniversary plans sound like a much needed escape. My hubby and I celebrated our 11th anniversary this summer with a trip to Acadia National Park, and I agree that time spent together enjoying nature is priceless.
My happy moment for today was taking my son to his pre-K open house and seeing him so excited about a new year. They really do grow up too fast, but seeing them spread their wings and become more independent is the ultimate joy.

Randi said...

Liz....I have tears. We love you and are blessed that you are our daughter-in-law.

Sheri said...

I'm so sorry about the loss of your brother. I can't think of anything to offset what you are feeling as it is normal. I know your husband will love the card, it was made by you, his beloved. Hug him close as you all go through this.

Debbie said...

I look to little things to make me feel more upbeat. Some things that may be silly to most, I make them a "happy moment". Examples... a fun song from the past plays on the radio, when I think I've eaten all of my muffin :( but then find there is still one bite in the bottom of the bag :) I buy the person's coffee in line behind me (this brightens their day and mine). Find those little things and make them special, remember them. Also time and love will help heal the pain. My deepest sympathy to you and your family.

candyk said...

I am sorry to hear about your brother, My Mom died almost 13 years ago. I remember I cried every night driving home from work for several months. Luckily I had a short commute, but that release was what I needed. The other thing that helps to this day is doing something that we used to share. My Mom loved roses, so now when I work in my rosebed I feel close to her. The last birthday gift she gave me was a 7foot windmill, which is of course in my rosebed. There are times that windmill turns and not a single other leaf is moving. I know she is there with me. My sister knows Mom is watching out for her by finding her parking spaces. Mom used to worry so much about her when she lived in LA, always told her to try and park close. My sister can find a parking space at the mall at Christmas, so I know Mom is helping! So embrace something that makes you remember your brother, and in time those memories will bring laughter and joy and not just tears. Take care of yourself. Can't wait to she the entire gingerbread set!!

carolanne said...

Just just found your blog and it must be providential. I know a little of what you are going through as I lost my only sibling, my sister, 12 years ago. She was only 33 and left a husband and baby son. So very hard to lose someone you love so young and see your parents' grief as well. I can only offer my sorrow and cyber hug. My prayers as well. My husband was and is like yours. Take joy in that... It is a true blessing. It is a bond... Let it bond you two. As time goes on try to focus on what is and give thanks. Don't dwell on what could have been because we don't know what could have been. Much love to you!

see mary stamp said...

Praying for strength for you and your family. Our most recent joy is welcoming our first grandchild, a beautiful baby boy, about 4 months ago. He and his parents live close enough by that we get to see them every week or so. He is truly a light in our loves. We are also looking forward to celebrating my nephew's wedding with my extended family. next week. Peace to you and yours.

SusanB said...

Lizzie,
I am sending you hugs and condolences on the loss of your young brother. This is a hard loss at any time, but particularly when he was so young.
Congratulations on your anniversary! My husband & I recently celebrated 40 years with a party thrown by our children. Next joy is that I am flying down to see my grandkids next week and will bake my granddaughter's 1st birthday cake - a ladybug theme.
Take care of yourself.
xo, Susan
PS: I am from Columbus but have lived in CA for 45 years.

Cindy O said...

I'm very sorry for your loss, Lizzie. May you find peace and strength. I find a lot of joy in singing, and our church choir just started up again after a summer break, so that's making me happy.

Sharon from the PTI forum said...

Oh Lizzie, I'm so sorry to hear about your loss! I think you are doing a wise thing in seeking little joys. It has been my experience that sorrows are big and whomp down upon us, and in order to counteract that, we have to find and notice the little joys in life, little things that make us happy--a new flower, the light in the evening, the sunlight glinting on the water, a favorite song. Notice all those little happinesses, and then they will outweigh the big sorrows.

Here's a little happiness for you: I've been baby-sitting my two-year-old great-niece a lot recently. The other day we went for a walk through my neighborhood, and as we were finishing it, she remarked, in all seriousness, "We didn't see any octopuses today."

Danielle said...

Oh Lizzie, I'm sorry to hear about your brother- I had no idea. I can't imagine how you are feeling. Praying for you and your family...

My joys are in my girls lately, running them to their events and seeing the happiness in them... That's so special to me.

I hope you find joy in today! Sending you smiles. XO
Danielle

Hanne said...

Hi Lizzie,

I am just reading this and I am so sorry for your loss. My heart aches as the thought of losing my baby brother (25) makes me go nuts... I am so sorry....

My happy moment today was that my crazy, energetic tomboy 1,5 yo girl climbed on a chair at daycare and very carefully stroked the cheek of a 3 mo old baby.... The kindness for the little baby was heartwarming....

Paula Laird said...

Oh Lizzie. I'm so very saddened by your news. My youngest brother has had some close calls the past few years. You'll be in my thoughts.

My baby girl is learning to walk. She's adorable as she takes a couple of steps here and there and the boys are enthralled while she does it. That's my joy just now. And if I'm drinking a salted caramel mocha at the same time, well, that's even better.

Your card is lovely and I hope your anniversary was wonderful.