The first Monday after Elizabeth passed away I woke up between 5:30 and 6:00 in the morning. I couldn’t sleep. I lay thinking of my daughter and how much I missed her. Paul woke up around the same time and we lay in bed talking about her and the recent events.
As the sky lightened, I had a sudden longing.
“Paul, lets go watch the sunrise,” I whispered.
He nodded his head and checked to see when sunrise was supposed to be – we had 3 minutes, so we got dressed and went to stand in the drive way.
We faced east and waited.
The sun rose, but it was overcast, and while it was pretty, it was difficult to see much. Honestly it was a little dissapointing. There were a few tinges of pale pink and gold that crept around the heavy clouds, but nothing like what I imagined. I leaned my head on Paul’s shoulder and sighed. I wanted more.
Then, Paul turned and looked behind us – towards the west.
“Look!” He said, and I turned.
Behind us the clouds were bathed in golden pink light. My heart thrilled and I felt close to my little Lizy.
I thought about that beautiful moment many times in the past week. How often do we become focused on what’s right in front of us or on a single moment and fail to notice the beauty behind or all around? How often do we fail to see the little miracles, or even bigger ones, because we are focused on one major, specific event? How often do we not notice how blessed we are because they come from unexpected places?
Life can send us many unexpected events. We can miss the blessings in these events if we only focus on where we expect the blessings or joy to be. We need to have a 360 degree perspective to really find all the joy in life. We never know when it might be right behind us.
Lizy’s death was tragic and unexpected, and we miss her SO very much, but just like our surprise sunrise in the west, we have witnessed so many unforseen blessings and miracles through this.
We have felt sorrow, yes, but also peace and immense, powerful, joy.