Thursday, February 25, 2016

Absolute joy with a squeeze from sweet sadness

by Suzanne Warr, aka Lily Black

Sunday was my son's birthday, and I won't lie, I teared up a couple times.  He's just shy of halfway through his mission, where he's serving for two years representing our church in Seoul, South Korea.  Monday I got a surprise call from Red Adept Publishing, telling me they'd like to publish my debut romantic thriller, and I'm not gonna lie, I teared up a bit.

Two lovely, joyful things.  Goals I've been working toward for years--and years, and years.  I also know my son is going to be so very thrilled for me, because we've hoped and prayed that any of my half dozen books in various stages of submission would be accepted for publication.  I had specific needs for my books, so I was being a bit selective, and am beyond happy that this particular book successfully navigated the strenuous dating process and found a publication match.  It's the story of two black belts who are each other exes, and a seriously unstable stalker.  It's also a story of hope, and forgiveness, and redemption.  One of the happiest things I've ever done was create my first facebook author page for my new pseudonym, Lily Black.

But, you guys!  Despite all the joy, there's a little tiny bit of sadness.  That most of the fuss and furor will have died down before my son finds out, this Monday.  That despite having been a part of this journey every step of the way and hoping for me more than anybody but maybe his dad and sis, he will be the last to know.  That I can't give him a hug, when he finds out.  That he may feel alone, because no one where he is--especially since he just lost his companion and is the third part of an already existing companionship--will get it, or have the history to understand this.

So, a little sadness.  But, where is joy, without sadness?
If you've seen Inside Out (one of my all time favorite movies) you know what I'm talking about...and if you've lived long enough to read this, you understand, too.  Kids can't grow up without leaving, scattered behind them, the precious, beautiful stages of life that were their little years.  The sun can't rise without saying good night to the twinkling stars.  And this particular answer to our prayers couldn't come without the separation--the sacrifice--of our son and my daughter's brother being away from his family--and every family time of growth and closeness--for two years.

I know this.  And in light of that knowledge, I'm giving myself two commandments.  One, to tear up a little, without guilt.  There is no shame in acknowledging sacrifice, or a little sadness.  And two, to embrace the joy, without holding back.  Embrace gratitude that any tears which slip out do so because my cup runneth over.  Then smile, and smile, and look forward to giving my son the biggest hug in the universe, when he comes home.

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