This morning’s news report featured additional coverage of the ravaged city of Joplin, but with a more positive spin…the story of a young couple’s wedding. Apparently their church and the location for their reception were untouched by the storm; her dress was saved from a damaged alterations shop, her bridesmaid was found unhurt, and the couple wanted to celebrate their good fortune by going forward with the ceremony. While it seemed a bit odd to them at first, coming so soon after such unprecedented devastation, the couple’s family and friends assured them that it was the right thing to do.
That report was followed by a grim reminder that Japan is still struggling to return to normal life and currently faces daunting challenges in attempting to clean up debris.
We know many other areas of our country are struggling with the aftermath of recent storms, floods, and fires.
Today people around the world are remembering our veterans and some are suffering fresh grief over soldiers recently killed in action.
So…is it okay to go ahead with something as joyous as a wedding? If today is your birthday should you celebrate? Is it okay to just be happy because you are NOT a part of any of the tragedies?
When my mother died it was just before Thanksgiving and I wondered how we could possibly be “thankful” without her. Then we had to get through Christmas. Then the New Year. Then a series of family birthdays. But each event was nearly as joyful as it had always been. Of course there were the “wish she was here” moments. But though her absence was felt, her presence remained in those of us she nurtured and loved. And Mother loved holidays and dinners and celebrations! I knew it would have been disrespectful to her memory if we hadn’t celebrated the life she gave us and taught us to cherish.
As I watered my flowers this morning I thought about what it would be like to face life with nothing left except my body, family and friends. It is almost impossible to fathom. I’m sure it would be terrifying! We spend most of our lives accumulating things that bring us comfort, security, and happiness. But I also thought back to the few times in my life when I’ve felt heartbroken and helpless. What got me through tough times was staying connected to friends and family. I learned early in life that “everyone has a story” and if I paid close attention I could learn from the triumphs and tragedies of others. No one goes through life unscathed by hardship or heartache. However, it’s the going on that is important. Life isn’t about what happens to you…it’s about what you do after it happens.
So, is it okay to be happy?
I’m thrilled to hear that someone got married in Joplin. A return to the normal events and celebrations of life gives us all hope of a brighter future.
I’ll bet someone even had a baby this week. Life goes on…