Surprised By Joy

I came from a great family.  Looking back, my mom clearly was the barometer. Nothing seemed to rattle her.  She was my best friend.  I could tell her anything.  She was also the one who kept my father in check.  

With a heart of gold, he could literally give someone the shirt off his back (and often did), always spoke loud enough for the whole world to hear, spontaneously took side trips “just to see what’s there” and had a quirky sense of humor that left me rolling my eyes more often than laughing (I should have laughed more). He was like a bull in a china shop so my poor mom was always on duty, watching over him to make sure he didn’t hurt himself or someone else as his exuberance frequently overrode his foresight.

They were a perfect match. They made sure I never doubted they loved me and believed in me.  

I miss them both more than I ever dreamed.

A few years ago, my father’s sudden death forced my family to leave our cocoon in Hawaii and venture across  the ocean for the first time in over fifteen years. We really never meant to be so stationary (especially after moving so frequently courtesy of the U.S. Navy), but life happened and our focus became far from taking vacations for a long time.

My parents were living in a retirement village only an hour from Anaheim, so my daughter and her husband decided to generously surprise everyone before we had to return home again with tickets to a day at Disneyland in an effort to life everyone’s spirits. It was the kind of spontaneous side trip I knew my Dad would resoundingly applaud. I’m sure he was right there with us as we had a wonderful time.

Since then we’ve returned to the happiest place on earth twice and each time I felt my once dormant “having fun” muscles get stronger. That trip was a reminder of how good things could be.  

It was there I began my journey of letting go and letting joy reign in my life again.


About The Author


Lover of reading, writing, sparkly things and whatever purrs, barks or flies. Former helicopter mom, co-dependent and enabler, I am addicted to walking, my family and my iWatch. Teacher by day and writer by night, I am clearly the one learning the most. Keeping it up until I get it right. Choosing joy one day at a time and sharing my journey so others can see why it might not be found if we don’t look for it. Thanks for stopping by!

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