Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Joy and Misery

I remember a seminary class I attended in the 11th grade where the teacher had written on the board,
"Why Suffer?"

He then taught a class about all the reasons he had uncovered for human suffering.  I am grateful for that class because I think it taught me that suffering is going to happen, and too not get to hung up on the whole, "WHY??????" mentality;). 

I think it is good to wonder why to a point, but I also feel that we aren't always given answers.  It is a part of life that we are to struggle against all odds.  It gives excitement to our overall story.  Who wants to pass down a story to their grand kids about how well they did because everything was so easy?  No no-- we want to be legendary.  We want to have something to say about how we were strong, intelligent beings who molded-- with difficulty--- their life until it was shaped into something worth reading about.  I want my life to be gorgeous because I made it that way, not because that is how it was handed to me.

But-  I am off the original topic.

Last month I came across something in my scripture reading that I hadn't thought about before.  I believe it answers the , "Why Suffer?"  question a bit.  Even though I write about wanting to be able to hand down a glorious story to my grandchildren, it is still difficult to hang on to such a romantic mentality when in the depths of crappy misery.  Oh is it hard.  It is good during these times especially to be reminded why we struggle on to wrestle life into what we want it to be.

So if you are trudging on every day, just glad to be able to put one torturous foot in front of the other, barely hanging on with your chipped fingernails-- perhaps this one is for you. 

Have you ever read The Count of Monte Cristo?

(SPOILER ALERT!  If you haven't read this novel, there are spoilers in this next paragraph)

Well, you should if ya haven't.  I loved it, yet there was a part that sincerely bothered me after I read it.  During the novel the "count" feels he is blessed with resources that grant him the ability to act in Gods name for revenge on those who ruined his life.  That part was interesting enough.  He also felt it in his power to reward those he admired and who tried to help him in his life.  So he did so.  There was one Character in particular who he felt deep love and friendship towards.  So he set about making this man miserable.  He lets this man think his true love was dead.  He let this man eventually "kill" himself because he was so miserable over it, but she wasn't really dead and he wasn't really killing himself.  When the man woke up again after attempting suicide, he was in his loves arms.   The friend was given a letter from the Count explaining that since he loved his friend so well, he wanted him to be truly happy.  The Count tells his friend that he knows deep and true happiness is never achieved until you have felt total misery.  Oh yes.  When I finished reading that portion of the novel and after I had closed my shocked mouth,  I felt indignation at the Count's treatment of one he professed to love so well.

A few weeks later I was reading in the Book Of Mormon, 2 Nephi chapter two verse 23

The verse is talking about Adam and Eve and how if they had remained in the Garden of Eden they would have,
"remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery..."

I read and re-read this scripture.  I was already thinking about this topic because of the novel I had recently finished, so it was so surprising to run across what looked like the exact same view point as the novel I had been reading-- yet it was there in my scriptures!

Perhaps if we never experience misery-- And I mean MISERY.  That is the word used.  MISERY.  Duh duh DUHHHHH.....

Perhaps if we never experience misery, we will never know joy.  If men are that they might have joy, well-- they also are that might have misery, or they will never have joy.

In a dark hour, I read that novel, then I read that scripture, and I knew I was experiencing muddy ugly misery.  I also remembered that it was only so that I could understand joy once it was in front of me.  It reminded to me start shaping my life work with that muddy misery, so that when my grandchildren learn about me someday, they will see that I shaped my muddy misery time with care and I came through with an awesome sculpture.  They can know that I experienced true joy and I was able to recognize it.  They will say-- I hope that I can experience Joy too, and they will know that if they are to do that, they will have to have misery as well, so they won't be afraid of it so much when it comes.  They will be able to take misery more in stride, knowing life comes with both it and joy, and they should be glad because it is either both or nothing.

If I could go back and choose, I would choose both. 

(You are thinking... what is she looking at.....?)

I Left My Dad First

I left my dad almost 12 years ago.

So really, this is my fault.  My dad came to visit me this weekend in all his glory.  He is bigger than life to me and to his grandchildren.  He is a get on the floor and play, joker, make you feel wonderful type of dad and grandfather.  He will make dinner with me and chat about whatever deep thoughts are going through my head, then he will make me laugh until I cry.  He will charm my entire group of friends until they all wish they knew him better.  He is an absolutely sweet hearted, sincerly thinks he has the best kind of daughter type of guy.   He is a work on his laptop so he doesn't get behind in his business from the time everyone is in bed until 2 in the morning, then wake up early to work until we all wake up so he can play all day and make us feel special person.  He is my hero.   I love him so much.

I find myself enjoying immensly every meal I make for him.  Anything I can do to add to his comfort and care brings me deep satisfaction.  I am honored to serve this great man.  It is an honor.  I would wash his feet, then look around proudly at anyone who witnessed it.

He left me this morning to go back to where he belongs.  He went back to his home where he is needed and loved.  I'm pretty sure my heart just broke a little.

I left him first though.  So really, this is my fault.  I grew up and found another man to fit into my heart and make meals for.  Another man to honor and serve, and I never came back home.  It shows how wonderful this new man was.  How else could I leave?

Love you dad.  I will miss you until I see you again.  Thanks for honoring us with a visit for the weekend.

Friday, February 3, 2012

My Super Cool Husband Had a Birthday

(I suggested the jazz hands.  They add a little something)

This shall be my ode to my husband.  But I am no good at odes.  Just know that.  He does, but I won't let that stop from trying!

My husband is a very patient man.  He married me when I was the tender age of 18, his idea even!  He has waited very patiently as I have grown up.  I'm still working on it, in fact.  We have been married for 11 years now, and every year gets sweeter.

So the sad, sad truth is that I had my first child three days before my husbands birthday and so my husband has had crappy birthdays ever since. 

My eldest child gets rockin birthdays with a theme and a decorated house and a friends party every year.  It's pretty awesome.  I like to make big deals out of birthdays.  I like to pick up my kids from school at lunch time and party at Mcdonalds.  I like to make them feel special all the day long.  A birthday is just once a year, so I enjoy making others feel special on their day.

But there is just something about me and my first child having a birthday just three days before my husband.  Something about it that makes me seriously too exauhsted to make more than one person a very special birthday party in one week.

This year was the year of the husband.

I invited 20 friends over for dinner.  Oh yes.  I made dinner for them all.  To be fair, I asked some of them to bring salad.  I shopped for silver and yellow decor, decorated to my hearts desire (almost, I think there could have been more balloons), and I tried to think of things to make my dear husband feel special on his day.  We cleared the tables and chairs away after dinner and dessert and had a racous night of games afterwards.  I had to pretend to be a dog at one point.  It was legendary.  You had to be there.

I know what you are thinking.

"WHERE can I get one of those crowns???"  Well, everything can be had at a price my dear.  AnYtHiNg.

Yeah, my art skills aren't fantastic.  So sue me.  One of our friends at the party asked me if my children had helped make the crown.

I have really great handwriting as well.  My handwriting is as awesome as my art skills. 

I sure do love my husband.  I am so glad I finally was able to give him the party I have wished I had given him for the past 9 years.  Love you babe.  You are wonderful.