Happiness Is…

Breathe.

Go ahead. Breathe in. Breathe out.

Do it again. I’ll wait.

… … … …

Dwell there for a moment – in your breathing.

You are alive.

*

Nearly 18 months ago, I wrote a story called, “Remembered“. I was coming off three deaths in a short time frame. A close friend. A former neighbor. An elderly uncle. I reflected on each and wondered about these things we call impact and legacy.

They didn’t impact the world in ways that are known to today’s social media world where every action or feeling is shared and every post is dissected, repackaged and claimed as one’s own. They weren’t interested in the soap boxes and bully pulpits of that social media has become. 

Their impact is left in their legacy. Their legacy is left in those still on this earth. Parents, siblings, children, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, friends, players, students, teammates and coworkers. 

As I have shared before, my brain goes 100 mph…but in pinball style (like a pinball bouncing all over the place), so bear with me here.

On my afternoon walk today, I was thinking about these ideas of impact and legacy. Now, I wasn’t thinking about their impact and legacies again, nor even my own. Although the thought of my own did cross my mind, I began thinking about someone else.

In early June, I learned that my former boss was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. This cancer was in her kidneys and had spread. By the end of June, she was gone.

Very little warning. No time to say goodbye. Gone.

Walking today, I was thinking about her. What was her impact? What was her legacy? What would she remembered for?

I heard her laugh.

Not literally or like a voice in my head. I remembered her laugh. You knew her laugh when you heard it. You didn’t even have to be see her, you knew she was there when you heard her laugh.

She had joy in her laugh. Even when things weren’t going right or stress felt overwhelming to her, if you could get her to laugh, you brought back the joy in her…even for a moment.

I had not worked with her in years. Over a decade, in fact. I hadn’t spoken to her much after we went our separate ways at work. Then, when I left our employer, it was even less still.

Now that she is gone, I’m remembering that laugh.

She is no longer in pain now, but I would like to hear that laugh one more time. One more breath for one more laugh.

Not trying to sound morbid or crass here, but that’s what it comes down to doesn’t it? One more ______. Think about the loved ones or friends who are no longer with us. What we would give to see them or hear them one more time.

Only, we can’t. 

*

fbBREATHE

We won’t hear or speak with them again upon this earth. In the case of my late boss, from my POV, it happened so fast. It was another reminder that life is short.

I know when we are going through something it can be a struggle to smile, let alone find energy to laugh. To paraphrase something I heard Dr. Tony Evans say, ‘In order to get TO, you’ve got to go THROUGH’.

Life is too short to not try to find one thing to smile about. Find that one thing in your life that is good and smile, dance, laugh whatever you do – take it all in and… 

Breathe.

Go ahead. Breathe in. Breathe out.

Do it again. I’ll wait.

… … … …

Dwell there for a moment – in your breathing.

You are alive.

Whatever you may be going through, it won’t last. It won’t always stay that way. You will get THROUGH it. Though the process may feel long, eventually it will end. Finding the right perspective, learning to handle any kind of adversity can reshape our character – a character that leaves a lasting legacy of happiness. 

In the meantime…

Breathe in. Breathe out. 

And listen to a laugh once in awhile.

Knees Down – Prayers Up,

Sunny