My Beloved has a little song he sings when I'm at my pessimistic best. It goes a little something like this...
Who can find the bad in everything she sees? Who can find the sadness in everything that's good?
It's not a long song (and both the melody and lyrics changes every time he sings it) but it gets the point across.
And it's true. I have a special knack for being in a happy moment and suddenly finding myself engulfed in sorrow.
Take tonight, for example. I was in the dining room putting together shadow boxes filled with 40-year old wedding memorabilia for my Mom and Dad's anniversary celebration on Sunday afternoon. I had a box of odds and ends to choose from, including a scrapbook filled with beautiful wedding cards they'd been given by friends and family.
It should have been nirvana, my little dining room. Girls live for this stuff and I'm certainly no exception to the rule.
But instead it made me sad. As I flipped open the glitter leaden cards I found myself reading name after name belonging to people that are no longer here. Friends, aunts, uncles, cousins - all there to celebrate the wedding, but now gone.
Best man, gone. Parents of the bride, gone. Parents of the groom, gone. Wedding soloist, gone. Usher, gone.
Gone, gone, gone.
Granted, they've been married 40 years, my parents, so it's not surprising that a few people have died in the intervening years, but it's not just a case of a handful - a few here and there. There are a lot of people missing. A lot.
And it's sad.
Old cards bring out the sentimental worst in me.
A few weeks ago I dragged out one of my Grandma's old card albums that somehow found its way to my house after my Grandfather died and his house was sold. My Grandma's been gone for 15 years and yet I still found myself sobbing by the time I got to the end of the book. It was gut wrenching to me to see the care with which she'd lovingly placed all those cards given to her (mostly by her children and grandchildren) in the album.
All that care, all those memories, all trapped in a dusty card album that probably hasn't been looked through more than once in 15 years.
Walks down memory lane should come with road hazard signs.
It doesn't help matters that I often wonder if there will be anyone to give all of these treasures to when I die - if there will be anyone left to remember any of us and to tell our stories.
See? From anniversary party preparations to concern over lack of heirs in the blink of an eye.
I'm a masterful pessimist, I am.