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Mastering Joy

Joy is a treasure to the heart. It is what opens us to a universal wisdom and takes a treasure hunt to explore. Upon exploration there are many perils to be found. Living with alcoholic parents, joy was not an emotion in my household. In fact, I really do not think I knew what joy was until I gave birth to my son, Preston. He was a treasure that was finally born after seven years of infertility, four surgeries, and three miscarriages. I persevered through these hardships, my passion for having this little boy never diminished. It gave me comfort when I dreamt about him as a child, wanting to escape from my own childhood trauma.

I know now why I had this dream of my precious child, Preston. It was because he would be the one to introduce me to the true meaning of joy. I thought I had experienced joy in the past, but the truth is, it was only moments of happiness. Happiness is an emotion that has a condition attached to it, whereas, joy penetrates the heart. It is a feeling of pure connection, with an insight that opens the spirit and dances with an understanding of a deeper meaning to life. Motherhood brought me to the miracles in my life. Miracles are connections to joy. Naïve at twenty-eight, I knew that Preston was a gift, especially after the infertility issues; I had no idea that this gift was wrapped with unconditional love and joy to the extent that I lived it. Being a mom was full of surprises from early morning until bedtime. I was caught off guard in some aspects of parenting. The aspect I cherished everyday was the joy that Preston radiated in my soul. Every morning, kissing his little checks before he would awaken to start the day, was a gift that I looked forward to daily, along with our numerous group hugs with my husband. We would close the day by tucking our little bundle of joy in bed at night with bedtime stories. Relishing in this cycle of life for eight years was better than anything I had ever imagined. Those bonds of joy built a foundation that has connected us forever.

Preston was killed by a drunk driver; five people, including three precious children, died that fateful day. My husband and I barely survived. The irony of all this is that I understood the sheer terror those children experienced, because my father drove drunk with us in the vehicle when I was a child.

“How will I go on? How will I live in this life without Preston?” I would ask God over and over, “Will I ever find joy and love again?” What I found was that once you are a mother, you are always a mother. My refrigerator is a masterpiece of pictures from children that have crossed my path. Because of the connection I share with Preston, I feel I have an inner, deeper connection that most people do not understand. Preston’s life has taught me that he lives within all the children of this world. His wisdom has shown me on a deeper level that joy is in anything we touch on a soul level.

A homeless man I once had a conversation with, had the same sort of eyes as my son.

With this connection I asked the man, “How do you find joy in your life with no security and no home?”

His reply was “I am like you. After so many losses we find the perils in the heart in all things…if our children were raised with the golden thread of love, there would be no homelessness or drunken driving deaths. Our children bring to us wisdom, they are closer to heaven then we are. We need to honor them, meet their needs, and give them a safe place to grow.”

My heart is always full with the memories of joy that dance within me. Preston’s depth of love has shown me joy in everything. His physical body may not be here, but I know his joyful soul lives forever in my heart. Motherhood is a priceless gift that should not be taken for granted.

Love Laurie and Preston from Heaven
©copyright 2006

First Edition 11/2006
Revised Edition 11/2013

Posted by LaurieBoggs at December 10, 2013 5:20 am | Comments Off on Mastering Joy
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