Sunday, September 25, 2016

Joy in the Morning

Awhile back, I wrote a blog post about this time of year--and how tough it is for me and my family. On September 29th Mom will be dead 10 years; on October 1st my sister Maureen will be gone an unbelievable 35 years. It's hard to identify with folks who love these early autumn days. For a long time now, these days have been filled with sadness and bittersweet memories (and, sadder, with the awareness of all the memories that have faded). Longing to see my much-loved ones again, to hear their voices. Marking the world events that have transpired since their passing (even, in Mo's case, the fashion trends that have come and gone:-) Everything has changed, in some cases utterly, since they walked the earth.  

Mom, Mo and Me

But on Friday, September 23rd, the week that has been marked by melancholy became a time of the greatest happiness. Peter Britten Seyfried, my second grandson, was born. And tiny Peter reminded me, reminded us, that beautiful and amazing new life still happens, even in the waning of the year. From now on, I will still recall the losses of course, but I will also remember the gains--the addition of an amazing daughter-in-law and now two precious grandchildren to our gang. Peter's birth is a triumph of hope over despair, a vote of confidence that this crazy mixed up world can become a little less crazy.

Our lives on this planet will end at some point, sooner or later. That much we know. But for now, we can choose to live with optimism, and do what we can to improve the bad situations. We can choose to embrace our existence, working to ease others' pain, to correct injustice, to leave our world a better place because we have been here. The popular Christian query WWJD? (what would Jesus do?) should be much more than an empty catchphrase. Because, deep down, we know what Jesus would do, don't we? Jesus would heal the sick and lonely. Jesus would offer refuge to the homeless. Jesus would forgive, unconditionally. Jesus, in every single instance, would show love and compassion. So maybe the question becomes: WSWD? (what should WE do?) And do we have the courage to do it? 

Peter, Elise, Joanie and Mo

I hold my little miracle in my arms on this early autumn day, a miracle that has done so much to redeem a time that has been sad for so long. I am inspired to help make this a wonderful world for Peter, and Aiden, and all the babies. I hold my grandchild and know that others hold him, too. A mom named Joanie--she holds Peter right along with me now. A girl named Maureen, who always wanted babies of her own but was taken much too soon--she too embraces our newest family member.  And as I stand, surrounded by love on earth and in Heaven too, I remember a Biblical promise: Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.

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