I am grateful for JOY.
When we went to California for the wedding of Aaron's cousin back in August, Aaron's aunt Marty had an old antique spoon like this sitting at every place setting at the dinner tables. They were for each person to take home with them. She had them pounded out so that the spoon part of it was no longer a cup shape, but was flat like a knife and the word JOY had been imprinted on each of the spoons. Each one was different and unique and really neat. When Marty stood up to say a few words to the group, she told why she had this done to these spoons. I cannot remember if she said she had heard this someone or if it was her own thoughts... This will not be word for word, but this is what I remember about what she said:
She talked about how when her kids were young and she tried to capture every moment on film and video and tried contain it all so that she would always have that JOY. She compared that to a spoon, containing the JOY and keeping it close and protecting it from spilling out and being lost. So, then she talked about as her kids have grown up and each of them left home and then gotten married and had more kids, she has seen that the JOY could not be contained and the JOY has spread because of new people coming into the family and the JOY spreading because of their lives. That is why she had the spoons pounded out into a 'spreader'. Because we should be 'spreading' JOY.
I wish I could remember what she said better than that, but no matter if it is the same way she said it, what I heard has stuck with me these past few months.
The word JOY has always been one of my favorite words. (see? I told you I had a bunch of favorite words) My favorite words are mostly words that have to do with what they mean.
JOY: intense happiness or great delight
When Aaron and I got married, we sat at his computer in his apartment one day and typed what we wanted our wedding announcement to say. We were not at all interested in using super formal wording and font. In the announcement, we did use the line: 'The JOY of your company is requested that evening...' the word JOY was in all caps like that. We wanted to make sure our JOY was felt by all who got the invitation to our wedding and / or reception. We wanted all to know that our wedding day would be full of JOY.
And it was... full of JOY. During the ceremony where we were joined as husband and wife for eternity, I felt so much joy, I could not stop crying. I am sure I looked like a mess... I was not sobbing in sadness, I was crying tears of JOY. Tears were just pouring from my eyes and streaming down my face. I had no control over it. :)
I came across a scripture in the Book of Mormon a while back that made me laugh as it made me think back to those moments during the sealing ceremony. It says:
"And their hearts were swollen with joy, unto the gushing out of many tears..."
~ 3 Nephi 4:33
What an amazing description of those times in our lives when we are overcome with JOY and cannot contain it. Hearts swollen with joy... gushing out of many tears... WOW, I love it.
The next time I felt intense happiness and great delight like that was the day Aaron Jr was born. What a wonderful feeling of JOY I felt in my soul. Heart swollen with joy, gushing out of tears... What a splendid feeling. And Aaron Jr has brought me JOY every day since then. What a blessing he is in my life.
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After I started writing this posting, I took a break and was going about my day and was hit with a very difficult reality of the day. With the anniversary of Aaron's death coming on Monday, I have been trying to stay busy and push it from my mind. But today, I had a sinking feeling today. I had a memory from three years ago, a phonecall I got from my brother announcing to me that he and his wife were expecting another baby. I don't have any idea what brought that particular memory to my mind, but after it was brought to my mind, I had a sinking feeling as I remembered what day that was.
Then it hit me... I started replaying this day, three years ago, in my head. November 24th, 2007. It was the day that started the beginning of what would change our lives forever. It was that day three years ago when Aaron had the accident on his horse and was life flighted to the hospital. It was that night that I got a call from a police officer informing me that Aaron was being life flighted and that I should come and meet him there. It is the night when I grabbed Aaron Jr out of bed at 10:30 at night to race the 20 minutes to the hospital... without any information about the condition of Aaron... only that he was in critical condition. It was that night that I stayed overnight in the hospital with Aaron... praying for miracles to happen in more ways than one. It was that night that began the downward spiral of Aaron's health. But still... even though he was weaker than I had ever seen him in my life... no one ever EVER would have guessed what the outcome would be 5 short days later... when we lost him.
So, that day was a life changing day for us... in more ways than anyone even realizes.
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After realizing what day it was, writing about JOY is not quite as easy for me, but even though it is a tough day, I am still grateful for JOY. There are many things that I can be grateful for that brought JOY to my life. The JOY I had in my life when Aaron was here and the JOY I find in the memories of our life together.
I still feel JOY every day of my life. Without that JOY, I could never have survived. Without feeling pain in my life, I could not even know how sweet the taste of JOY is.
Alma, in the Book of Mormon, describes how I feel perfectly when he said:
"And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!
Yea, I say unto you, ... that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, ... that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy."
~ Alma 36:20, 21
~ Alma 36:20, 21
How perfect is that description? So perfect.
I am grateful for JOY and the wonderful blessings in my life which bring that JOY to my heart.
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