We had a good day at our house.
It was a simple day, really. All of my children were home after two of my boys had been away. We spent time cleaning out the garage and tending to small chores around the house. A friend came to visit in the morning and offered me support. I took the younger boys the splash park. We ate pizza for dinner that I didn’t have to cook. We laughed together at the dinner table.
There was our usual stuff, of course. We had tantrums. There was an incident at the splash park, and we had to leave early. But still, as our life goes, these situations are manageable. Relative calm reigned.
A year ago, I might have groused my way through this day. It was a day of chores and squabbles and typical life.
Today, after weeks of difficulty and crisis, I cherished this day of normal.
Just 6 words. “Today was a good day.”
These words lie so heavy with meaning.
If you’ve been at the bedside of someone who is dying, “Today was a good day,” means the pain was under control today. He breathed a bit easier today.
If you are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, “Today was a good day,” means she remembered yesterday, not just a decade ago. She was with us a bit more. She brushed her own teeth today.
If you have a child with behavior issues, “Today was a good day,” means no phone calls from the school or rages at the dinner table.
If you are struggling with an addiction, “Today was a good day,” means for whatever tough to understand reasons, the demons were held at bay for a few more hours.
Today was a good day means you get to let your breath out all the way. Your shoulders settle down a bit further. The tension in your jaw releases.
Why is it that we need the painful to cherish the simple as so exquisite?
Each time I am reminded of this achingly sweet lesson, I promise myself I will remember it. “I will remember this day forever,” I promise myself. “I will cherish every moment.”
But I don’t.
The car makes that rattling noise — again. The kids fight– again. Life continues to happen.
The sweetness is lost to drudgery of the mundane.
I wish God didn’t need to use the painful, once again, to bring me a startling awareness to the goodness that is in front of me. Yet He does. Of course He does. How else will I see it?
Tonight, I wrap up empty cardboard pizza circles and throw them in the outside garbage bins. I make a half-hearted attempt at wiping crumbs off the grease-smudged kitchen counters. I’m not annoyed at the mess.