I glanced up at the commercial and saw a family sitting on impossibly clean white couches. A child nestled up to her mother, the mother wearing a Mona Lisa smile of contentment. A Dad watched television across the room on an equally clean white couch with another child. Or maybe it was a dog.
I was fixated on the mother.
It was jut a commercial. She was paid to look serene. But it made me think about how different my life is than it could have been. And I've been thinking about that a lot lately. Not surprisingly.
I have a lot of joy in my life. But I am not who I was.
I recently read about a woman who was told, upon losing her child, that she would be okay again. She would be happy. But never like she was.
I will never be happy like I was. I will never, ever be able to see things the way I used to. Everything is filtered through a lens of loss.
And some days, particularly lovely sunny ones when I want to shed the weight of my sorrows like a child taking off its shoes and walking in spring grass for the first time after a long winter, it's hard to know I'll be fitted with this lens for the rest of my life.
It makes me tired. But also determined to continue to fight for whatever happiness is still left for me.
It's why I dug out my wedding tiara and an old fake pearl necklace and wore them to my sister's Oscar party last night. Along with a sweatshirt and jeans.
It's why I'm crocheting the world's largest, gaudiest afghan for our bed, which I'm aiming to have finished by tomorrow night. A little extra comfort is a good idea for tomorrow, I think.
It's why I have a shelf of seedlings basking in the sun by the sliding glass doors in the kitchen, and why I've been dreaming of digging in the dirt for weeks.
It's why I'm so grateful that more than 6400 people are signed up to do Random Acts of Kindness tomorrow.
I miss my boy. I miss the life we almost had. I miss being a mother to a living child and all the joys and sorrows that life would have held. Sticky kisses, crayon art, dandelion bouquets. I miss it all.
And I am not the same.
But I am fighting hard for happy.