This week has been a tough one. Not for me, not really. I'm still sick, a return of the strep infection that antibiotics didn't cure from last month, and while that hasn't been a fun way to spend the last few weeks, it hasn't been the worst.
No. The worst is reserved for all those families who are mourning the loss of their loved ones after the bombing at the Boston Marathon.
The worst is reserved for all the victims who will have to learn how to piece back their lives and process the horror they endured when suddenly their world exploded around them during a sporting event.
The worst is reserved for the residents of a small Texas town that exploded before their eyes, ending lives and shattering so many more.
I know being sick while safe in bed, surrounded by family, is a luxury many families won't have with their loved ones ever again.
It was a bad week for my friends and neigbours in America. My heart is heavy for them. I grieve for them. For you.
It's tough to find joy when your world is dark.
I won't offer any platitudes. I don't have any. I wish I did.
But I will leave you with a few of the images from the past few weeks that have brought me a modicum of joy. Because one joy really does scatter a thousand griefs. Maybe my joy will help someone find theirs.
It's still snowing at my house. In fact, right now, it's snowing. There are parts of my yard where I still have over five feet of snow, waiting to melt when the warm temperatures arrive. In case you haven't checked a calendar lately, it is now past the middle of April. The warm temperatures were supposed to be here WEEKS ago. I should be jumping in mud puddles by now, watching the robins play instead of SHOVELING MORE SNOW. This is not joy inspiring for me. But the green grass and lush trees I know we'll have this year (eventually) will bring me joy.
In other words, look at this picture and be grateful you aren't my immediate neighbour. Because if you were, I'd ask you to help me shovel. I AM SPREADING THE JOY!
My dog, Abbott, makes the DUMBEST faces. God love him, he brings me joy.
This is the stuffed bunny my mother gave each of my children for Easter. I have three of these bunnies, kicking around. Abbott has found all three. He carries them around, the ears dangling out of his mouth, and then he loves them to death. There is always a wet stuffed bunny under foot. It's all fun and games until someone steps on a slimy cold stuffed rabbit. Which I do. Regularly.
It's so damn joyous.
*Better than stepping on Lego I suppose.*
Abbott loving one of his bunnies.
I'm a sucker for a dog and his bitches. Er, bunnies. It makes me smile every time I see him loving on one of them.
Until I accidentally step on it, of course.
This kid shoots joy out of every pore. He is the very epitome of joy.
Knox and Abbott. Fric and Frac, version 2.0.
You may not recognize it. It's quiet and serene. It's completely ordinary.
Until you see the joy in one blind deaf quadriplegic little boy finding love and acceptance in his furry best friend.
Then it becomes extraordinary.
This is magic.
I hope each of you can find your own portrait of joy, your own magic, however ordinary it may seem, through the dark clouds that are hovering in your life.