Saturday, May 3, 2014

Expressing Happiness

"It's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon, out there on the edge of the prairie..."

The blog has been quiet for several weeks, but life has been far from quiet. The truth is, it's been rather intense around here. There hasn't been any lack of topics to write about but rather too many to choose from. We did an epic spring break road trip to Florida to visit family. My mother had emergency heart bypass surgery and she's recovering beautifully, thank you.  My stepmother of 36 years passed early last month. Two of my closest and dearest friends each had major life issues that I wanted to be present and support them through. I was gifted a car. It's been a rather busy time, to say the least.

In keeping with the theme of "Gee, whiz" my kids met Garrison Keillor tonight and it's kind of a big deal. Keillor's radio show, "A Prairie Home Companion" on National Public Radio has been a Saturday night thing for our family forever, especially with their Grandparents Nelson.

Often, Dad and Pat would get in the car about 5 p.m., turn on NPR and listen to Keillor start the show. They'd drive to a nearby town, have dinner, and be back in the car in time for the news from Lake Wobegon. And I've written about this sort of happening before here on the View.

They enjoyed Keillor and the entire show for many years. They attended a show in Omaha years ago and had a wonderful time. Bertha's Kitty Boutique was a long time favorite sponsor.

After a lengthy illness, Pat passed quietly last month at the care center. While Dad and Pat love their church and have been active church members their entire lives, it was not a funeral they wanted. It was a celebration of life.

To that end, the celebration for Pat's incredible life felt a lot like A Prairie Home Companion. Laughter through tears. Good music. Something poignant that touches a place deep inside. Memories of long ago. And something to think about as it ends.

The day after Pat's celebration of life, I got the tickets for tonight's show for my kids and me to take Grandpa to the live broadcast in Des Moines at the Civic Center.

When the introduction began, there was a moment that was rich and full of a love that will never pass.

"Oh hear that old piano, from down the avenue... I smell the tulips, I look around for you. Oh my sweet, sweet old someone coming through that's Saturday and the band is playing, Honey could we ask for more?"

The theme for my meditation today happened to be expressing happiness. If our sense of happiness is full and even overflowing, it can do nothing else but make others around us happy. This is an evening that memories are made of. This evening we felt Grandma's presence once again. And my kids met Garrison Keillor. With a little patience and perseverance outside the green room door, they were invited in, said hello, shook his hand, and got an autograph.

Full and overflowing. When we express happiness, we can't help share that abundance of joy. And a joyful night it was.


Kelly Hostetter Thomas said...

This is so beautiful and poignant, Laura. Peace and happiness to you and your family.

Laura Nelson-Lof said...

Thank you. Right back at you.