Remember that scene in Steel Magnolias just after the funeral when all the ladies are crying, and Olivia Dukakis cracks a joke? I was blubbering so hard that I almost missed it, and then it took me so completely off guard I practically snorted! I know I sprayed the person in front of me, but it was kind of a chain reaction. There were still tears steaming down my face after that, but they were tears of relief.
Sometimes we wanna wallow in self pity and enjoy our pain for a while. After all, its a valid - though not very productive - response. When I feel like a little wallow myself, I try (operative word) to set a time limit, say... five minutes allotted for a pity party, then back to business. There's too much on our plates to indulge in much more.
Some of the Critters get this....
... and some still don't.
Sweetie Petite-y, who despite her tender years is a seasoned veteran, has recently acquired more first hand experience. She learned that humans really cannot fly, that gravity is more than a mental state, and that sometimes you should listen to your Momster over your siblings. Oh, and that the ground is pretty darn hard.......... A couple of broken metatarsals in a compliant cast later, the novelty of having the first broken bone among siblings has worn off. Pain, excruciating and bravely met at first, is annoyingly persistent, and worse yet, limiting. Her eagerly anticipated, end-of-the-year, ropes course field trip now looms like dark cloud on the horizon.
The thought of her missing it is enough to make my eyes brim, but I witnessed in amazement the other day while she allowed herself only a few self-conscious tears, and then apologizing, put on her Pollyanna face and looked for the brighter side of things. No praying for it to rain on her classmates for her. Though she is opting not to go (and make fun of them as their butts zoom awkwardly by overhead, like her oldest sister would), she is determined to work hard and heal enough to wear both shoes by the time eighth grade graduation rolls around.
That's what a joyful spirit does: It looks toward an optimistic future, one filled with laughter and celebration.
And healing comes.