So, I've been doing this 100 Happy Days challenge, which - let's be honest, I've become a pro at searching out the good. I have to. Without it, well, I'd end up in that deep pit of soul-sucking darkness with no hope of ever getting out.
Anyway, the challenge is simple. Find something that makes you happy, snap a picture, share it using the tag #100happydays. You can sift through the happy images of others or even create a photo book at the end of the challenge. Go to 100 Happy Days to find out more.
I really want to tell you about Day 16:
Ruthie's Flowers Blooming Bright ♥
Shortly before Avery passed away, my dear friend Ginger's sweet, sweet mother, Ruthie, passed away. It was awful and hard and heartbreaking. Ginger is quiet. She keeps things inside. She's intensely private both in her incredible strength and in her understandable anguish. Like polar opposites, Ginger grieves alone in the dark of her room; I'm wailing loudly in the middle of the street under the noonday sun.
When Avery died, it was so hard for Ginger. Her own grief so new and raw, had not even begun to heal -- and yet she felt called to help hold me up. She has been the behind-the-scenes get things done with AVERYday Ministries. Honestly, that wouldn't have happened without Ginger. She deals with my inability to make a decision or complete a task with grace and patience when a whole lot of people would have given up by now.
And she listens. She listens with a heart full of nothing but pure love.
You know how after someone dies everyone brings flowers? My whole house was filled to the rafters with blossoms and perfumes.... and then I had to sit by and watch them all slowly wither and die. That alone about broke me.
And so, on my first Mother's Day without my daughter, my sweet friends Ginger, Kim, Jocelyn and Kristy showed up with shovels and flowers and started planted: flowers of purple and orange. Avery's colors.
It was so precious and so beautiful! I didn't think it could get any better!!
But then Ginger quietly pulled out some plantings and transferred them into the earth by the front porch of my house. In a soft voice she explained, "these are Ruthie's flowers. They're from her garden."
That, alone, dear readers, is an incredible selfless act of love.
And when I saw Ruthie's flowers begin to bloom, with the deepest, richest purple I had ever seen - it was like I could picture Ruthie and Avery, standing hand in hand, looking down at the flowers, commenting how beautiful they are... how beautiful life still is.
Because it is, you know. Even through all the struggles and all the pain, life is still beautiful. If only you choose to see it.