Welcome Home, Love!
After two weeks away, I was back home to T-Town, and saw that my yellow rose bush was blooming. I know it’s Spring, but, in my own little world, I like to think that it being in bloom was a special gift from my Sweetheart in heaven. Yellow roses were a big deal for us during our 44-years of marriage. Our wedding flowers were yellow roses, I was his “Yellow Rose of Texas”, we planted a yellow rose bush in every home we ever lived in, and when I would return home from any trip I was away from him, he always had a yellow rose waiting for me with a sweet note “Welcome Home, Love!”. Those precious traditions still keep me cherishing the memories we made.
Maybe there are new (or even seasoned) widows or widowers reading this and wondering if life will ever get easier for you. My answer is “yes, no, yes, no, YES!” In the beginning it feels like a roller coaster ride — going up, up, up with laughter and thanksgiving for the sweet memories, and sometimes down, down, down when you hear “your” song or smell his favorite cologne on someone, or experience Valentines, birthdays, anniversaries, Thanksgivings, Christmases — without him or her. Other times, when you’re embracing family, friends, sweet times and making new memories — there’s the tendency to almost feel guilty for feeling so happy.
After almost 5-1/2 years since my Sweetheart graduated to heaven, I can assure you that, if you’ll embrace the journey that you are still on and know, without a shadow of a doubt that you are still on assignment, you will experience JOY again. Happiness equates to external things like your favorite TV program NOT getting interrupted when the storm comes through town or when your doctor gives you a 2-thumbs up because your medical tests were negative or when you get a bonus check in the mail. But JOY is that internal place of joy and peace that comes to stay, regardless of external circumstances, because God and His joy and peace live inside you. I promise you, joy will come to you when you accept it as a gift like nothing ever given to you before.
I know your journey and my journey may be completely different, but if you’ll practice gratitude and watch for all the sweet kisses from heaven like I did yesterday when I saw those yellow roses, you, too, will see beauty in the flowers and the blooming trees, you’ll laugh with children, you’ll start being a light to others and you might even dance in the rain. It’s been raining a lot lately, so why not put on those dancing shoes — and DANCE?
Psalm 30:11-12 “You have turned my mourning into dancing. You took off my sackcloth and clothed me with a garment of joy, so that I may sing praise to You, and not remain silent. Lord, my God, I will give You thanks forever.”