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Happiness Comes

Happiness is a choice. That’s what I always tell my girls. You cannot sit in a grumpy huddle, waiting for the world to make you happy. By all means, change the world–but when you can’t change the world, change your attitude. Or in other terms, Baby girl, I say to my oldest when she groans about handwriting practice, You cannot change what you need to do right now, but you can chose to do it with a smile.

(Oooh, such a typical mom thing to say, I know. I fondly hope that one day my girl will hear those words coming out of her mouth when speaking to her own son or daughter, catch herself, do the classic Macaulay Culkin “Home Alone” face and scream, Ahhhhhhh!)

But anyway, one of the (many many) things that made the days and weeks after losing the baby so hard was that happiness was not a choice I could make. I could stay busy (homeschooling 2 little kids, this was not exactly a challenge), but I was still sad. I could count my blessings–and I did–and there were many–and I was beyond grateful for every single one. But I was still sad. I could know deep in my soul that knowing my lost baby even for the few short months I had her was a privilege and a joy, and that I could never have chosen not to know her, even if I had been warned from the start how it would end. But I was still so, so sad.

I finally decided that I just had to make peace with the sadness, accept that for now, that was where I needed to be. And I discovered that there is a beauty in sadness, in a way. Like a painting done all in shades of blue and gray, or music played in a minor key.

Only then did happiness start to come back. Not the same sort of happiness I had before. That was another hard lesson to accept: that happiness would never, ever feel exactly the same way again. That the broken corner of my heart always will be sad. But a different and yet still beautiful sort of happiness did come. Watching my girls race ahead of me on a visit to the zoo. Hearing my three year old ask, Mama, what in tarnation is that? (No idea where she picked that one up; I promise you, I do not walk around my house exclaiming, What in tarnation . . . ). Watching a movie in bed with my husband late at night. Short, unexpected bursts of happiness would sneak up and surprise me and suddenly lighten my heart. As though hands of grace had suddenly touched me, helping me to get through another day.

Happiness is a choice, I do still believe that. But sometimes, it’s also just a gift.

For anyone who is going through similar loss or knows someone who is, I found this website so beautiful and incredibly helpful:


This entry was posted Friday, February 15th, 2013 at 11:36 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “Happiness Comes”

  1. DZ Posca Says:
    February 15th, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    We saw your post on Writer Unboxed, and we would like to encourage you by saying that happiness may come and go, but God’s joy is always there. Even when one’s heart is breaking, there is always that calm assurance “because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ “

  2. Roberto Says:
    March 14th, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    You know, I think there is happiness beacuse of the sad and difficult times. How could you ever compare a glad time to a sad time if there are no sad times. Many people around the world use this fact to say that both happiness and sadness are bad and cause suffering. I disagree with that thought and believe we should experience both ends of the pendulum responsibly. I agree with you, after every problem is resolved, the lack of a problem will bring happiness. All problems have solutions, or else they are not problems.

  3. Marie Burton (@BurtonReview) Says:
    May 13th, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Sorry for your loss Anna. Prayers for you and your family! I’ve picked up some of your regency titles & I look forward to reading them! I hope your Spring is blooming towards happiness.

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"...Anna Elliott has fashioned a worthy addition to the Arthurian and Trystan and Isolde cycles... This Isolde steps out from myth to become a living, breathing woman and one whose journey is heroic." -- Margaret George, author of Helen of Troy

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