Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Feeling Vonderful

I have kept this blog silent for almost a year. A lot has happened that I simply wasn’t ready to make public. I will share more about that later, but for now, I just feel like today is the perfect day to start posting again, maybe because so much has happened, yet today is a very good day.

A few minutes ago, I went outside to get the mail and recalled an afternoon from many years ago. I was walking home from the bus stop after college classes and passed an elderly lady that everyone in the neighborhood knew as “That lady with the walker.” Almost every afternoon, she stood on the corner waving at cars as they drove passed and greeting kids walking home from school. Everyone loved her, even the obnoxious middle-schoolers and stuck-up teenage girls. Who could not smile at a sweet woman who chose to wave and smile instead of whining about her aches and pains or all that was wrong with “this world today.” 

“Hello!” She called to me from across the street. I detected a hint of her German accent.

“Hi!” I shouted back. “How are you?”

“Fine, thank you. It’s my birthday!”

“Oh, that’s great. Happy Birthday.”

“Thank you, my darling. I’m ninety, and I feel vonderful!”

Maybe she came to mind because today is my birthday, and despite a lot of heartbreak and loss—a lot of which kept me from blogging and often left me feeling like I’d lost my writing voice forever—I can honestly say that I feel vonderful too. Like that woman who used to stand behind her walker waving at passing cars, those who know my story would probably say that I have a lot of reasons not to feel hopeful let alone wonderful. But a string of Birthday greetings on my Facebook Timeline, a sweet card from a friend, a stack of gifts from a lunch with my sisters and parents, a 11-year-old who hugs me and says Happy Birthday every time he sees me today, and the smell of a cake that my niece is baking remind me that I have many more reasons to be thankful today. The memory of that nameless woman remind me that life can be painful but we can still have joy, that a hurtful year can still end with, “I feel wonderful” if we allow it to.

What could keep you from feeling “vonderful” today? What do you have to thank God for? No matter what is happing in your life right now, I pray that He will send you at least one reason to want to smile, and maybe even wave at someone you don’t know, and say, “I feel wonderful.”

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