Not in the Happy Ending

I read something somewhere this week about the story of someone’s life not being in the happy ending, and it resonated with me strongly.  I try not to focus on the happy ending.  I really do.  But I always feel the need to have something I’m working towards, something to gauge my progress, or a milestone or event that should bring me ever closer to things being ‘easier’- whatever that means.

I once continued to date a guy way past when it was clear that he was not the one for me, simply because I thought I’d invested way too much into the relationship to not believe there would be a happy ending.  I’ve spent a few years at a job (several times) really enjoying it, but always thinking of how it would help me toward long term goals.  I’ve maintained a positive attitude about the search for Austin, because I knew there will come and end one day.

Newsflash Anita!  There may not be a happy ending for every situation.  Or the happy ending may not be what I hoped for or expected.  And even when there is, that isn’t where the story is.  They story is in the daily details, the ups and down, the good and bad, the joy and the pain.  And when we focus our own lives on the happy ending we expect, we miss out on our real story happening. Or at least I do.

Chill as he waits for surgery

This week, like most, we’re going through the not so fun trials of normal life for us.  Last weekend, Michael was sick and home in bed for much of it.  Tuesday, Drew had minor surgery and spent most of the week recuperating.  Austin’s birthday was Wednesday.  Today, Drew is doing another not so fun medically necessary activity.  I could have so easily been stressed out this week, because between all of that and working and hosting a party this weekend and preparing for travel next week, it’s just a lot.  But I kept taking deep breaths and remembering these things.

Michael was able to enjoy some of the weekend and is doing well now.  Drew’s surgery means that he should have relief from the constant sinus problems, asthma and headaches.  Austin’s birthday is a day we can celebrate his life.  Drew’s day today will go a long way towards solving some other issues he has going on.  A party to plan means we have friends to love.  My busy work schedule means I have a good job to provide for us.  These are good things!  Sometimes it takes looking at the flip side, to see the good through the junk.

There is one thing going on that I just can’t see the good side of this week.  32 years ago Wednesday, God gave me a brother.  28 years ago, God gave me more brothers, though not by blood or marriage.  One of them is in the hospital after a stroke, at just 37 years old.  It’s not his first stroke.  His kidneys are also not doing their job well enough, and different specialists are all involved to help him.  There’s nothing good about this happening.  But I do know there is this to be thankful for in his story:  He has been blessed with a wife that takes care of him with such strength, and is such a good partner.  He has four kids that love him and need him.  He has family who feel the same.  He has good doctors who will figure this out.  He has good therapists helping him work towards recovery.  For all that I am thankful.  For not knowing how to help more, for that I am lost….

I still hope for happy endings for us all.   But they may not come as we want them, or as quickly as we want them.  So for now I’ll keep looking into our stories, seeing all the good there is.  And praying for strength for the times it’s too hard to even see that.

Because our story is not in the happy ending.  It’s in the life in between.




  1. Wow, I am so glad that you found my blog so that I could find yours. This post resonated with me as I struggle a lot in not imagining happy endings for my son and his developmental delays going away. I try really hard to focus on the major accomplishments he makes every day and not worry about where he’ll be once he’s older.
    Also, I’m so sorry to hear that you don’t know where Austin is. I will pray that he contacts you or you get some news.

    • Thanks Kristi- also so glad I found yours! It really isn’t easy- I think I’ve written a similar post about 82 times because it takes reminding myself often.

      I definitely don’t believe our happy ending with Austin will come in finding him alive, though I never say never. I think for us a happy ending is about bringing him home and saying goodbye and starting the healing process that is ripped open so often. Thank you for your prayer- and for your comment!

  2. Hiya, Anita. The only way I’ve discovered to make it through the rough spots, is doing what you did…deep breaths and living it moment by moment until we push through. Like Kristi, I have a special needs kid and I try not to let myself imagine a time when he’ll be ‘normal.’ I just cherish the things we do have and make the most of it.

    I hope the happy finds you and sticks around for awhile. Sounds like yer about due.

    • Thanks for visiting and commenting Terrye!

      I have to repeat that process of being content where I am all the time, but there is always happy in the midst of the difficulty. We do seem to have more than our share of the difficulties but also have been so blessed too. So I’ll keep working through it…

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