Joy Lessons Week 24

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This weekend was one full of memories for me. On Saturday, Lil Miss had friends coming over for a barbecue to celebrate the end of the school year. As I prepared food and and got things ready, my mind wandered back to the birthday parties we always had for my sister. Her birthday would have been Sunday. She passed away eleven years ago from head trauma sustained from a grand mal seizure.

During my growing up years, since her birthday was in early summer, right after school got out, (and the weather was generally nice), we’d always have a barbecue to celebrate. While I made potato salad and cleaned off the patio and cut roses for a vase, it brought back many memories of helping Mom do those things in preparation of my sister’s birthday.

I was just thinking this morning that the memories hold far more sweetness than bittersweet feelings now.

Also, there is a swell of joy when I take out those memories and allow myself to sink into them.

It made me think of the Disney movie Inside Out.

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The story follows a young girl who is uprooted from her life in the Midwest and moved to San Francisco. Her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness – conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house, and school. The film shows the emotions as characters, and it’s hard not to love Joy.

So this weekend, as I was remembering all the fun times we had giving my sister happy birthdays, I felt a little like Joy in this picture… as if I was wrapping my arms around those joyful memories and holding them close to my heart.

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