“Into all our lives, in many simple, familiar, homely ways, God infuses this element of joy from the surprises of life which unexpectedly brighten our days and fill our eyes with light.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
You know how a smell or a breeze or the sun shining through the sky in just a certain way can zap you back to moments or places from your past? You try to put your finger on just what drew you down Memory Lane ~ usually to no avail ~ and you marvel at the happy feeling a sensory memory creates.
I enjoyed several of those moments recently.
You know how sometimes you have one of those days … and you don’t get to come up for air? Then ~ Snap! ~ unexpectedly someone calls who puts a smile on your face or you see something that makes you feel the hug of a loved one.
I’ve relished several of those moments in recent weeks.
February is always a long month. I often think of it as gray, but this year we had quite a few bright sunshiny days. They fed my spirit when, inside the brick and mortar parts of my life, the fluorescent lights felt so faux. [I know, I know ... but it was fun to write!]
I miss my girl. Yes, even five years later, I miss my girl. Yet she sends me so many simple yellow signs reminding me to celebrate each day!
Last week as I walked behind the auditorium on a bitter cold day, I spied a lone yellow skittle. Zap! I chuckled as I pocketed it, picturing her dividing her skittles into colors long before yellow was her signature. “Hey Baby!”
The campus bus that drives by the university’s Visual Art Complex is the Yellow line. I know - really? No matter how early or late I am, it always drives by just as I head in to teach class. Zap! I smile as I relive nights when Mark picked her up from me in the Spring Hill College parking lot. She always gave me at least three tight, squeezy hugs before she got in his car. “Hi Momu!”
As I entered a super-busy stretch of events in Ye Olde Arts Centre, I felt the pull of spiraling anxiety. So I turned to Moms in Prayer – and an incredible peace guided my days. When I realized it ~ Snap! Images flickered through my head when Krisanna would rub my shoulder and say, "Breathe, Momu. Just breathe." (:~D I miss those one-handed shoulder rubs.
People point to their yellow shirts or slightly lift a yellow tie, smile and nod – and for the moment she is there with us. “Terrific! How are you?”
A group of UMS-Wright students went on a mission trip to Guatemala during Mardi Gras break. Adelaide sent the photo in this post with Carly and Eugenia all wearing their KER yellow week shirts. They didn't plan it ~ clearly Krisanna wanted to be in Guatemala with her cousin and her friends. "Hey Everybody!"
When we began rehearsals, one of the children brought me a portrait he made for me. In it, I’m wearing a yellow shirt ~ “for Krisanna” he said.
Yellow flowers appear on my desk, yellow sightings from siblings and friends arrive in my email, yellow cards and notes grace my mailbox, yellow prayers offered fill me with peace, yellow hugs shared warm my heart. Simple joys that brighten days.
In the waning hours of a long day in a seemingly-eternal week, I pulled alongside my mailbox to discover a grand surprise: a card which read, “The weatherman said that today was a good day to send sunshine to somebody you love.” The inside was filled with smiling bright yellow suns shining on a field of fun flowers. Yep ~ but that’s not really the best part. Curious, I glanced at the postmark and smiled because Krisanna’s friend Melissa mailed it two days prior ~ my lowest day in such a very long time. Midday I sat in Krisanna's Garden and asked her and Mr. God to help me breathe. How cool is it that Melissa sent the card that very day?
Sunday, in a restaurant, St. Jude angel Andre’s mom tentatively waved at me and asked, “Aren’t you Krisanna’s mom?” She wasn’t sure but the yellow I wore was a clue. (:~D “When does this feeling go away?” she asked. I answered honestly. We chatted. I told her Krisanna would graduate this year; she said Andre would have graduated last year. “I keep hoping that after graduation, I’ll feel like I’ve sent her off to college,” I admitted. It was her turn to answer honestly. We hugged and laughed that Krisanna and Andre were clapping and dancing that we were hugging each other. What a bright yellow treat!
Today is another 4th … another marker in that long “day that is like a thousand years” … another day that I miss my girl. Today, however, has been yellow all day long! When I opened my email, my sister sent me this photo of Krisanna from pre-tumor days, and Jeff wrote with exciting updates about the Yellow Day movie. In rehearsal, as I tied a little one’s shoe, I told her I liked her yellow tennis shoes. Immediately another young cast member said, “It’s ‘cause of Krisanna” with a smile on her face and lilt in her voice. How awesome that a young person who never knew Krisanna associates her with yellow and happiness so freely! Krisanna's cousin Moira brought home her #4 AAU basketball jersey - "#4 for Krisanna." Finally, I arrived home to a package from Krisanna’s friend Wiley. Eagerly I opened the envelope to find a small Daymaker collection of quotes and scriptures. Yellow with bright pink and pale purple cover and pages, it has “Smile” written all over it. Each page inspires with thoughts like Paul Vitale’s “Get lost in the clouds every now and then so you never lose sight of God’s wonder” and “A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.” (I’m pretty sure “detour” is the human way of saying “not the part of Mr. God’s plan I expected.")
Everyday I am grateful for the blessings of simple joys in the bright yellow scenery on this detour – and the many people who enjoy it with me.
Wishing Quinlan and Aunt Ginny yellow new years, Crazy Uncle Brady and Aunt Laurel a sunshiny anniversary, and most especially wishing everyone a bright yellow day filled with zaps, snaps, and simple joys.