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.
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.