Little Bits of Happiness

Last month I wrote about the unexpected passing of my sister-in-law.  Although we lived more than 2500 miles apart. Her absence is indeed felt. The space in our lives where she resided is empty but not hollow. We can still feel her love, her spirit, and the soul that once lived inside the amazing woman she was. So yes, there is sadness and pain associated with her death. Knowing we can’t talk to her, hear her laughter, or go to visit and spend time with her. But there is also a calmness. Knowing she is no longer in pain, she is free from medications, and poisons pumped into her body to fight an illness that ultimately took her life.

Time has passed since learning of her death. Wrapping our minds around the event, trying to understand the why behind the tragedy. Then driving 24 hours to the funeral, the burial, sitting in her house, which felt vacant filled with people. It has been weeks since then, yet our lives continued, changed as they are, they contain the mundane, the ordinary, the usual – and yet now they mean much more. We recognize the simple things and take a little more time to appreciate every day – every – day. It makes one thankful. Grateful when you can take a deep full breath of clean air. To enjoy a crisp apple. To wash a sink full of dishes you’ve just served a meal on to your family, who lingered at the table a little bit longer. I hope these feelings last and more moments are shared and cherished.

Remembering is a powerful thing. To take time to remember and feel the way you did before the feeling turned into a memory is special. I think it keeps the person or event in your mind and heart. I can only hope they can feel that and know they are still and always loved.

Recently I returned from a week-long trip to Cape Cod. My daughter had a workshop she was attending, and I was given the gift of time. The last time we were there was just about a year ago, and I finished my first book. It was a personal achievement I sincerely hope will be published. Since then I am still searching for an agent and/or publisher. It is an exhausting, frustrating and skin-thickening process. So for the week in Chatham, I was allowed to walk on the beach, listen to seagulls, watch sunrises and simply be. I chose to read. I chose to clear my mind of thoughts and aggravations and watched the waves. I chose to listen to the water rush onto the sand and study the patterns left on the beach. I chose to feel whatever feelings came, then let them blow across the shore. It was a mindful meditation of sorts.

Now that I am home, trying to find slices of those choices has been a bit challenging. But it can be done. By holding the stones and shells tucked in my jeans pockets from those walks. Looking at the photographs of each sunrise, the beautiful ones in all the splendor and glory the sun paints as well as the ones designed in shades of grey with storm clouds on the horizon. Wearing my sunhat to do yard work and sipping coffee in my rocker on the front porch watching the birds in the feeder.

Today as I drove to work over Bear Mountain and although it is the last day of April and spring arrived almost six weeks ago it was snowing! Not accumulating snowflakes that must be shoveled away, but big wet ones that slapped the windshield and required the wipers to stay on. By the time I arrived the snow had turned to rain, but tomorrow is supposed to be beautiful and 75 degrees. Go figure.

So do we complain and fuss? Well, you could, if you chose to, but I think it is better to take a deep breath or two, hold that seashell in your hand, a cup of warm something in the other and remember. Remember someone you lost or someone you still have, consciously think of things that make you smile, laugh or shake your head. Make the mindful effort to bring those slices, pieces, little bits of happiness into your own life. Find those sunrises, waves or mountain paths and take a walk. Clear your mind, your heart, and your head. Take a picture or two or more and remember to look at them, not just glance as you rush by.

Take the time to slow down and live, right now, right this moment. Take time to do some remembering of your own, and if it means you need to grab a tissue that’s okay too. We don’t know just how many slices, pieces and little bits of life we have. So cherish this life you’ve been given and live it!

Breathe Deep, Think Peace



About Patricia Young

Patricia Young spent most of her life in the Northeast. Before the casinos arrived and many of the safety rails installed, she would hike Bushkill Falls and enjoy time in a little cabin by Meadow Lake near the Delaware Water Gap. The school year was spent in New Jersey, but many summers were spent in Mississippi where she wandered in the woods, rode horses, and read piles of comic books with cousins. After graduating from college with a degree in education, she taught fifth grade in Bayside, Queens. When rent climbed to high for her salary she working for the defense industry in Yonkers before starting a small business called, The Giving Tree Day Care. For fifteen years she was "held hostage by two-year-olds!" Writing every day in a notebook for each child to keep communication open to each family. Fast forward to the spring of 2013 diagnosed with severe carpal tunnel syndrome (she does NOT recommend having both hands done at the same time! Often wondering "What was I thinking?!") Physical therapy and time slowly began the healing process and gardening strengthened her hands. After an unexpected, but a deeply personal journey to Montana in the fall of 2013 she decided it was time to reinvent herself and embrace her fondness for writing. With renewed confidence, and a plan to do the work necessary to become a writer, she began writing every day (with the help of - thank you Kellianne and Buster!), submitting to a variety of magazines and contests to practice the craft. Attending writing retreats, workshops, lectures, taking classes, reading and immersing herself in the process. She began to work with writers and authors in the tri-state area. Currently living in Westchester New York Patty lives with her husband of 32 years, two dogs, two fish, and one cat in a little Cape Cod. The laughter, love, and support are plentiful. Patty has completed her first novel presently called "Northeast of 80". Working with her genre editor, she hopes and dreams and keeps fingers crossed to find an agent in the fall of 2019. You are invited to join her on this journey of a writer. To experience her trials, successes and stumbles along the way. Please share your own stories and maybe we can untangle some of the complexities of this writers life together. Breathe Deep, Think Peace
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