#AtoZChallenge J is For Joy

laughing dog


This is one of my favorite posts because joy is such a wonderful feeling.

All while our children were growing up, Den and I taught them to celebrate life and find joy in the little things. Those years are my fondest memories as the children learned to find joy in:

a sleeping puppy,

a sibling walking for the first time,

a day at the zoo,

making dinner over a camp stove after an earthquake,

learning all the words to a favored song,

reading a book,


completing schoolwork before it’s due,

making dinner for their grandparents,

a night at the drive-in,

family walks,

helping others,

honoring a teacher.

Good memories… and lessons learned from the past. Lessons I’ve called up and reused many times these last twenty-two months.

Each day, I look for my joy. It might show up first thing in the morning or much later in the day. But I know it’s coming.

Today, it came near lunchtime with a call from my favorite aunt, Roxie.

She lost her husband the week before Christmas, and after our twenty questions of how and what we were honestly feeling, we spent the next two hours whooping and hollering about the silly, goofy things our guys used to do.

After I hung up, I smiled, feeling light… and happy. Not simply because of our conversation, but the shared experience.

Auntie and I didn’t ignore or deny our grief. But after honestly addressing it, we were able to move past it instead of wallowing in it… which hasn’t always been the case.

And that brought me joy.

What brings you joy? Where do you find it?


On May 30, 2019, I lost Dennis, my husband of over thirty-five years. Ten short weeks later on August 18, 2019, I lost my eighty-four-year-old mother. My grief journey has not been an easy one. While we know grief has five stages, there are many situations and feelings some bereaved never get to express, and I’m using my first AtoZ Challenge to say things I’ve never been able to give voice to. I hope you’ll follow my journey.


atoz badge 2021


Image by almavanta from Pixabay