Smile More

(written  3/22/13)

This week an amazing woman died.  She was in her early 50s.  She had a heart attack.  No warning.  She was just gone.  She is not family, or even a close friend.  She was a woman that has made a huge impact on our community though.  She was a vibrant, energetic, joyful christian.  She was a person that just radiated joy.  She was involved in many things.  She was a leader at almost every bible school my children attended when they were younger.  She was involved in the Crossroads youth ministry in our town.  Her daughter ran a summer program for the teens and she helped.  She was always smiling, always pleasant.  I don’t think I ever saw her frown, or get flustered.  That is quite an accomplishment with the amount of children she worked with.  When you talked to her – she looked right at your face and gave you her full attention.  She made you feel like you mattered.   She dressed very plainly and although she fixed her hair, it was usually frizzy and just pulled back in a bun.  They aren’t fancy people, but they are happy people.

The amount of support that showed up at the funeral home was unbelievable.  The comments that people have left on her facebook page tell her story the best.  So many thank yous and countless stories of how she touched their lives in one way or another.  Hubby thinks its crazy that people are writing on her facebook wall.  I think it’s wonderful for her family to see how many people she inspired.

I wish I knew her better.  Her children are amazing people and have handled this with such grace.  They’ve learned a lot from their momma.  Of course they were devastated.  But they stood strong.  They praised God though it all.  I was not at the funeral, but BFF was.  She said that it was the most uplifting funeral she had ever been to.  She said it made her want to be a better person.

Her daughter made the comment “…my mission in life is to be a friend to the world, just like she was.”   Her teenage son kept saying “The family that prays together, stays together.”  That is something my grandmother said to me many many times over the years.

It makes me want to be a better person too.  What mom wouldn’t want her children to admire and respect her like that?

I feel like I have been finding my joy again.  I have always been a positive, happy person.  But I feel like I lost a lot of that the last few years.  A miserable marriage will bring even the most optimistic person down.  Its strange to me that I have been noticing that I have been smiling at people more.  It’s made me aware that I hadn’t been doing that a lot.  It’s weird because I still thought of myself as a happy, positive person – even though I haven’t been acting that way.

A few weeks ago  my sister and I were talking about my difficult marriage.  I told her about the conversation hubby and I had in early December – about us selling the house and the kids living with me.   I also told her how things seemed to be looking up and we were getting along better.  She asked if I thought it would really stick this time.  I told her that my mental health depended on it.  I know that makes me sound crazy co-dependent.  I am working on that.  But it is true.  I have felt so emotionally drained.  Stress overload.  It is hard to live with a grumpy, condescending, disagreeable husband that doesn’t take your feelings into consideration at all.  It is exhausting!  You feel beaten down.  All your energy goes into making it through the day in the most positive, unattached way you can – so you can be there for your kids, and get your work done so you can have a paycheck.  You try not to feel.  And that is hard!   And sometimes I feel like I’m going crazy.

It is not mentally healthy to be in a bad marriage.  And that is the truth.

Like I said, things are looking up.  I feel more at peace.  I feel like I am finding my joy again. I’m able to focus on other things in life, not just the stressful environment that was (and sometimes still is) my home.  People will tell me not to let his negativity affect me.  They will say that I am in charge of my own emotions, he isn’t.  He can only control me if I let him.  blah, blah, blah.  When you’re living it, it’s a lot harder than those simple words.

What is my point?  Hmm.  I guess that I am feeling more positive about life.  This woman was an inspiration to everyone she met.  Isn’t that something we should all strive for?  I may not inspire everyone, but I would at least like to be a positive presence in people’s lives.  Not someone they see as down and out – or whose presence doesn’t even make a difference.

I want people (especially my kids) to think of me as a kind, loving, happy person who made the world a better place.

That’s the girl scout coming out in me.  “Girl Scouts make the world a better place.”

I’m going to start by smiling more.   :)

gsworld

Image source: www.girlscoutshop.org
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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jill
    Apr 21, 2013 @ 09:18:34

    Beautiful post! I get it. I admire your spirit. You made me smile :)

    Reply

  2. Barbara
    Apr 22, 2013 @ 15:39:21

    I have never understood that we are in charge of our own emotional happiness. Yes, it is true to a point and I understand. But what if your husband was physically abusing you? Would you be expected to be happy then? So why is it any different if it is verbal or emotional abuse? The fact is, it’s not different. You can only take so much.

    Reply

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This blog is my personal journal. I am trying hard to save my marriage. No, I am trying to build a great marriage. In case you haven't heard, marriage is HARD!
I am fighting back against anxiety & panic attacks. This is year 5 of this adventure. I am also codependent. I am an ACOA. Fun, Fun. I am trying hard to become a better me.
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