Sunday, May 9, 2010


Someone comes up to you and says, "I've got good news and I've got bad news, which one do you want first?"  How do you respond?

I am always wanting to hear the bad news first, call it jaded, cynical, etc...but I have never had the knack for that whole glass is half full thing.  It just isn't my nature.  I was raised by two very practical people and even as a child it seemed easier for me to just see things for what they were; that doesn't mean that my childhood was unhappy, I have always just been more pragmatist than a daydreamer.  I am the kind of person that would rather know what the bad news is cause usually it isn't as bad as I've already imagined it could be.  Sounds pretty depressing I guess but that is just part of who I am.  So, as I brace myself for the bad news I have already anticipated the worst anyway, so getting the bad news first lets the good stuff follow.

This week was not the bad news first, however. 

We celebrated a small achievement for our oldest son this week as he "graduated" Kindergarten.  It was precious.  They sang, recited scripture, signed the days of the I said, it was precious.  They also wore a cap and gown and got a "diploma"  I was a proud Momma that night.  He was adorable in his cap and gown and there were moments that I stood there is complete amazement at how BIG he is and at the very same time thinking about what it would mean for him to do this again at 18.  Very tender moments for his Mom and Dad.  We were so proud.  To celebrate his achievement we let him pick out a cake to eat up after the ceremony and as we were walking through the check out line at Walmart I got a phone call from my Mom.  I was anticipating the call as a congrats for our "grad" and instead it was to inform me that my Dad's latest DR appt yielded a very depressing prognosis.    So, good news first, bad news last.  Quite the reverse. 

As I stood there, taking it all in - it was all too much for my sentimental ways.  Having my baby get "big" and knowing my Dad won't be here to see that baby really graduate at 18 - a proud moment juxtaposed by real sadness....very bittersweet.

I have had a few days to marinate and take it all in and I am still left feeling the sting of sad and the joy of seeing my son growing into just the person God would have him be.  While reflecting on these situations I find myself realizing that the differences between sorrow and joy, good and bad, sweet and bitter - its kinda like the differences between a Republican and a Democrat, at the end of the day, somedays you can't tell them apart. 

Those feelings, emotions, situations are what connect us as human beings.  If there was no sorrow then would we know the real joy of joy?  If there was no bad news then would the good news be as "good"?  If all of life was bitter, how sad would it be to not know the sweetness of your child's smile, the sweetness of a friend's hug, the sweetness of getting to love my spouse? 

I have discovered that sorrow and joy are inextricably linked.  I have sorrow and joy seeing my son grow - sorrow that he will not always be so little and joy that he is growing to be the person that God would have him be.  I have sorrow knowing that my Dad will not always be here to tell me silly stories or make my kiddos laugh and also joy knowing that his life has been a gift, knowing that his legacy will live on, knowing that he will save a place for me in heaven.


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