Joy is my middle name.

No, I mean it. I go by my middle name.

Most people who meet me say it fits perfectly.

I say that’s debatable.

Except that maybe, just maybe, it’s easier to find and revel in everyday joy when you’ve languished in grief, loss, fear, and long long labor with little to show for it.

Everything my daughter Ellie learned took months, if not years, to master.

Seeing that helped me to see and delight in each little incremental step her siblings made – smiles, real laughter, waving their hands, putting things in their mouths, drinking out of cups, and of course, all the words.

Makes me wonder if joy doesn’t shine brightest when contrasted against the darkness of pain and sorrow.

I would never have chosen this dark road myself. But walking it has changed me. And it has deepened and broadened and lengthened my capacity to see and choose joy.

This post linked to the One Word at a Time Blog Carnival on Joy.