Sometimes life gives you exactly the opposite of what you expect.
Take today for example. I was expecting today to be hard. It's the anniversary of my dad's death and I was sure that it would be one of those endlessly tiring and mentally exhausting days.
But it wasn't. It wasn't any of those things. It was happy and fun and filled with people I love.
My students were extra sweet to me, as if they could sense that they were dealing with a fragile teacher. They didn't pull any of their usual shenanigans and were seriously little Tuesday angels for me. They did their work, they participated and I even gave every student in fourth period five points extra credit because they were more on task than I have ever seen them before. What is this?!?
Then, my co-worker and friend, Hannah, surprised me with a dirty Dr. Pepper at lunch. She said she knew today might be a little bit hard for me so "here's your favorite drink." It was the only point in the day that I was close to tears... I just kind of stared stupidly back at her, shocked that she even knew that today was of any importance to me. Even moreso, I was floored that she had remembered my favorite drink from a casual conversation three months ago. It's things like this that A) make me want to be a better person and B) maintain my belief that while some people are bad, most people are good. Really really good.
When Greg got home from work tonight he was so sweet to me. Extra tender and extra loving and extra everything a husband should be when his wife is sad. He made me feel cherished and special and other goopy stuff.
I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love in the comments on yesterday's post. I always hesitate to post about my dad's death, thinking that it is weird to be so open with my life to total strangers, but when I read your comments back it reaffirms my decision to talk about things that are hard for me. I am often surprised by how many people say they too have lost someone very close to them. If there is one thing I have learned it is that sorrow and suffering are universal. We all suffer. We all feel pain. The beauty of it is in coming together to share it and heal together.
The icing on my proverbial cake was that I got to spend some time in the temple with my mom and a few of my siblings tonight. Mormon temples are a little bit different than churches in that we believe it is our place of most sacred promises and communication with God. There are no phones or electronic deices and it feels like you shut out the entire outside world when you are there and just focus on the most important things. Mormons believe that we can be "sealed" forever with our family in the temple making it possible to live forever with our family after this life. I felt so close to my dad and to my family sitting there tonight and thinking of the promises I believe in for after this life. Ultimately it was just a moment of absolute peace and happiness.
We ended the night with In-N-Out because it wouldn't be a Blackburn get together without good food and we chatted until long after we all should have returned home. It felt so good to be surrounded with family and to be reminded of God's plan to get us all back to Him.
So yah. The day was supposed to be sad. But instead it was happy. So happy.
*Two days left to enter this giveaway for a straight up wad of cash.
*Six days left to finish reading Thousand Splendid Suns. It is a beautiful book.