We went out tonight, My Beloved and I, in search of the 2007 Hallmark Christmas Dreambook catalogue. Yeah, it's May. But you know what? You take joy where you can find it, even if it's in a tiny catalogue filled with Christmas ornaments.
We didn't end up finding it (the rumor that it's out in stores proved untrue, at least up here in our neck of the woods) but it was a fun quest just the same. And that's all that matters.
On the drive there, singing along to one of our favourite Beatles songs, I got the overwhelming feeling that the universe has somehow shifted, corrected itself. Things are right. It's like I've finally managed to climb out of a really deep hole, and while the memory of the entrapment is there - will always be there - I'm walking away from it and into the sun.
The surgery I dreaded is over. Questions were answered. What was broken was fixed. Mostly. Enough, anyway. And it's spring. And I just picked up a piece of freelance work that I couldn't be more excited about if I tried. I feel alive - alive with promise and possibility. And, by some miracle, hope.
I haven't felt like this in so long that I barely recognize the feeling. And I sure didn't think I'd ever feel like this again. But somehow I do. Just like that.
While I was busy singing and reveling, it suddenly occurred to me that it's unbearably sad that so much of the struggle and sorrow and torment of my life is directly tied to my son - the person I love more than anyone else on the planet. It's agonizing to think that the start of his life tore mine to shreds. That thought filled me with so much sorrow, and so much love all at the same time.
Sorrow and love seem to be at odds with one another, but they're not really. You can't have one without the other. It's just that sometimes the space between the two is only twenty hours long.
I can think about Thomas and smile now - readily and honestly and so very proudly. And I can see him for the incredible blessing that he was. That he is. But it's always going to be like a knife in my heart that his existence is tangled up so inextricably in my agony. Agony that will always be there. Love and agony, all at once.
And in the midst of it all, sunlight and hope.
God, what a strange, strange thing is life.