Someone reached out to me this week, with words that brought far more comfort than they probably could have thought possible.
I am referring to two anonymous comments left on my last post.
Reading the two comments was like receiving a phone call from an old, familiar friend.
The first brought tears to my eyes simply because its tone was so familiar, its words so closely aligned to those spoken long ago.
My comment of thanks to the unknown person who managed to say exactly what I needed to hear at exactly the right time, was followed up with a second comment, presumably from the same person.
Again, it was exactly what I needed to hear at exactly the right time.
"Sometimes we forget that, it wouldn't be possible to feel such pain if the joy weren't there," the comment began.
My mind flew back to countless conversations regarding that exact notion, and to the day I followed the ambulance to the morgue.
That was the day my absolute, unwavering faith in the existence of God was cemented. Gripped in the clutches of the most heart-wrenching pain I have ever known, I was suddenly surrounded by an intense calm. The colors of the world around me were a bit brighter and I began to chuckle, in spite of the tears, as I realized what I should've known all along — such heartache could only be present in the face of an all-consuming, endless love and such encompassing love could surely only exist in a world created and ruled by God.
I know there is truth in the words, "the joy is still there." I am reminded of that joy every time my child offers some dry remark or random observation, every time he makes a goofy face for the camera and yes, even every time he offers some lame excuse as to why he didn't do his homework. I am reminded of that joy every time I hear the chords of a guitar, smell the salt of the ocean or eat a tomato sandwich.
Yet I haven't managed to reach the point when the reminder of that joy isn't accompanied by a shadow. Oh it's not always such doom and gloom, although I realize this blog tends to serve as the dumping ground for my darker thoughts and moments, most likely because those are the ones most necessary to release. There are often times when the joy nearly outshines the shadow, yet the shadow continues to linger.
Perhaps it is merely my melancholy way...or maybe I've somehow failed to properly let go, although I still struggle to determine how to separate the joy from the shadow so as to let go of the one without losing the other.
I don't know. I know that his face passes through my mind a thousand times a day, most often accompanied by that warm glow that always seemed to surround us. I know that the recent barrage of dreams ceased after I cried in the darkness on the bathroom floor. I know that even while in the midst of the darkest of shadows, I wouldn't trade one ounce of that joy or a single moment of that warm glow.
And I know that I am thankful to that anonymous someone who somehow offered the words I needed to hear.