Anyone in my age group (or within a decade or so), probably has that Rob Base song in their head right now. And there is a good reason for it.
That song came out in 1988. I was 14 years old. My parents had already divorced by then and we were in the throes of a painful custody battle. I knew plenty about joy...and pain.
I feel like opposites are a very common theme in my life. In order to be happy, I must also experience some degree of being sad. It happens A LOT.
Last Thursday, I went to synagogue as it was the anniversary of my father's death (according to the Hebrew calendar). Sitting with my mom and my brother, hearing the familiar prayers around me, I could not help but start to cry as I stood to say the Mourner's Kaddish. The Mourner's Kaddish is a prayer we recite to honor those who have passed. When I looked it up to be able to define it for my non-Jewish readers, I found this very interesting quote, "Once a parent dies, you enter into a new realm of mourning and loss. Just as the mourner assumes a central position within the prayer community, Kaddish assumes center stage for the mourner. It provides a meaningful, repetitive and concrete activity that focuses the mourner on his or her loss, providing an anchor that grounds the mourning process." (Shiva.com)
I felt sad as we pulled away from the synagogue. Sad for my dad who is not here anymore and sad for those of us that are.
Less than 48 hours later, we celebrated Miranda's 2nd birthday. The party was all I hoped it would be - and then some! We had a house full of family and friends and laughter and love. It was a princess theme and all the little girls came in their finest gowns. My heart was so full with love that I am not sure I stopped smiling the whole day. Surrounded by the loved ones that celebrated my pregnancy and baby shower, mourned Allie's death, helped raise funds for our adoption fundraiser and then welcomed Miranda home with open arms, it was both joy and pain that I felt while celebrating Miranda's special day.
I kept thinking, "I am luckier than I have a right to be."
I kept stopping myself and instead thinking, "We are all so very lucky."
With joy comes pain. When there is sunshine, there is almost always rain. As long as I can focus on the joy and the sunshine, I think I can handle the pain and the rain.