Chosen Joy

Even in sorrow, there is something in the world for the heart to say thanks. –J.Silvera

This week holds many significances.  In the last five days I have observed my Wedding Anniversary, celebrated Mother’s Day, and been invited to attend three separate memorial events honoring the memory of fallen officers in the state of Minnesota.  At the national level, I ordered flower wreaths to be placed by Shawn’s name at the Peace Officer’s Memorial Wall in Washington in remembrance of National Peace Officer’s Day.  My heart is filled with sadness and finding it very challenging to experience peace in the midst of severe loss. 

Although these events pay great tribute and honor to the sacrifice
Shawn made, I carry the weight of his daily absence in my life and
struggle to convince myself life can still be good.  I believe in the
truths of hope, trust and faith.  Yet, the test of finding life’s
beauty means I must live out what I claim to believe.  Words and
actions are two very different things.  It is a struggle to find joy
when one does not feel joy.  But, I remind myself that I live by
choice, not feeling.  I must choose to see good even during days or
weeks that I don’t feel good.

The best part of my week involved the love and generosity from many
special people.  My sister filled my house with daisies on my
anniversary.  Every room is overflowing with these cheerful flowers.
As a surprise while I was out, she placed daisies in my kitchen, dining
room, bedrooms and bathrooms!  My parents brought me daisies for my
office to sit on my desk where I write each day.  My mother-in-law and sister-in-law gave me vibrant plants to remember Shawn.  A beautiful friend
gave me daisies in a box, which were exquisite.  Another loving couple
sent me a t-shirt that reads “Life is Good” with a white daisy sketched
on the front.  Still another loyal friend made me a bracelet to inspire
me and one of my favorite families sent me the most unique bouquet of
daisies and marigolds pouring out of a large lemonade pitcher with
lemons floating in the water.  The entire display extends joy into my

I woke up this morning looking at all the daisies around me finally
seeing them after the cloud of this week’s sadness.  The flowers
inspired me to write about chosen joy.  I can choose to see beauty even
when I am blinded.  Just because there are days I don’t look, it
doesn’t mean that beauty isn’t there.  When I do make a decision to see
the hope that surrounds life, I am truly living by faith through
surrendered trust.   

Last night at a candlelight vigil, I sensed Shawn’s hands firmly on
my shoulders.  Symbolically, I felt he was there to protect my broken
spirit.  I wanted to tell him, “We are OK.  We will be OK.”  But, then
I changed my thought and told him, “We are working on being OK.  This
is where I am.”  I felt secure knowing I am working on it.  I may not
feel complete, but I am surrounded by encouragement to choose joy or to
at least try. 

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