We expect to feel happy when we’re standing in Paris or watching ocean waves crash in Hawaii or Florida. We expect to feel happy at our daughter’s $20,000.00 wedding. We know we’ll be happy at the birth of babies and grandbabies or when someone we love gives us a surprise gift. The giddiness rises inside, our smile turns on and we glow. It’s a wonderful feeling.

Joy. Such a simple word. It can come so unexpectedly. Sometimes it is the smallest gesture, a smile from a stranger, a neighbor bringing our trash container up from the street for us, the grocery clerk saying ‘I love your purse’. That little glimmer surfaces and it takes us by surprise.
Lately my small joys have included daily conversations with a dear friend who is undergoing surgeries and chemo and stuff no one deserves to face. Hearing her voice on the other end of that cell phone, knowing she’s still here and will be here, God willing, and that we will go to the next play at Gammage or that trip we planned for next winter. Just hearing her pick up, my heart leaps. It’s just a phone call but it is also Hope. A gladness that we met, that we’ve supported each other, that we have laughed and cried together. Her voice brings me Joy.
Today I found tickets to the play Billy Elliot. I wanted to see it in London but we just ran out of time. I don’t know if either of my children really wants to see it, but I texted them this morning anyway. The joy I felt when they said they would love to spend my $350.00 was the best!
All three of us– in a row– together- -watching a wonderful theater production just as we did when they were ten and five. That is priceless. (They did actually ask the price and said they’d pay.)  It doesn’t matter. If they don’t, it’s fine. The fact that at age sixty-five I have the opportunity to sit with my two children for an evening of laughter and fun is a simple, remarkable Joy.

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