Remember Joy.

The May I was pregnant with my second child, rain fell every day. I remember this keenly because my husband wasn’t working that month. I was about to have a baby, and I wanted very much to be finished with pregnancy. I had been so ill for eight months, and I just wanted to move on.

As it turned out, a gorgeous healthy baby girl was born on May 31. The summer was long and hot, just perfect weather in Vermont.

This year, I didn’t realize until today that we had passed over into the month of May. I’m writing this, as I’ve been in the same kind of dissatisfied funk that I was seventeen years ago. It seems silly to admit this — at the time, perhaps, I was in a funk only because of my own dissatisfied soul. I had — and have — plenty. I was talking to new acquaintance yesterday about the general dissatisfaction and irritability that blossoms up everywhere these days. It’s complicated — it’s always complicated — and by no means do I want to diminish that. I don’t want to diminish where I was in those days, either. Now, I can look back at those days and marvel, at least a little, that I did manage to survive intact, more or less.

That summer, though, I knew it would be the last summer I would ever have an infant. Almost right away, I was lucky enough to know that. I remember thinking, let the laundry go unwashed if need be.

This afternoon, walking around my house in a gently falling cold rain, I remembered those days. My daughter has one year of childhood left. Already I’ve begun to recriminate myself for what I should have done, how, given another shot, I’d be such a better mother. In the rain I came back to that same thinking I reminded myself of years ago, Be here now. Remember: drink joy, too.

5 thoughts on “Remember Joy.

  1. I remember that same feeling when I started caring for my two-month-od granddaughter on a daily basis. I knew it would be the last time I would care for an infant all day, every day, and the time with her was more precious than gold. I tell her often now how much I appreciate her gift of teaching me to live to beautifully in the moment.

  2. Thank you for your wonderful reflections. Have read Hidden View and was so moved by it. And now Unstitched. Powerful. I worked in addiction treatment as a therapist and the destruction of lives and souls is jarring and devastating. There are often moments of hope and small successes, which require an ability to be present and appreciate the remarkable light which can return in moments of that presence, however the effort and energy to persevere can be overwhelming. I appreciate the mindful quality of your writing too; your cadence and process seems often to emerge from moments of reflection which are ‘stitched’ together in a lovely quilt! Thank you again. P West, Beverly, MA

    • Thank you for reading my books and for writing in. I really, really appreciate this. Writing is often such a lonely pursuit, so it’s a singular joy to hear from readers. Thank you for your work in addiction treatment and for taking the time to read my books. Very best, Brett

      • Thank you for your reply! I can imagine writing can be indeed a lonely undertaking. Working as a therapist similarly presents a risk of becoming isolated. I appreciate even more my trusted others who help keep perspective and provide welcome input. Am almost through Unstitched now so hurry and write another one! 😀 Take care and thank you again.

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