I listen with my eyes.
Mouth open, laughter escaping; floating in the air around me like a child blowing bubbles.
And I wonder where all this happiness comes from; what or who creates it and how one who doesn’t have it, can obtain it. I briefly contemplate if happiness can lie patiently within solemn souls, waiting to be shared in the right occasion.
And so I sit, wondering about this elusive thing.
Arms emphatically move, reenacting a story.
My thoughts have tuned my ears to silence and I see the scene unfold. My brother sprawls across the plush carpet next to the Lazy-Boy my sister sits in. Adjacent to the chair is a couch, one side occupied by another sister and the other side, my wife. My brother-in-law paces the floor, as if unsure about joining the loud group in the living room.
I see before me, a pile of omnipresent memories; a lifetime of shared moments.
The fun, happy memories sit atop this pile, but as I watch the smiles and the laughter, I can’t help but think about the foundation of memories, lying beneath.
The unspoken ones.
The sad ones, the ones we don’t like to think about. The ones that each family has. Disappointments and trials that come to any family.
Like a foundation.
“The foundation to what?” I think later as I lie in bed. “To happiness?”
The thought hasn’t left my side. All day today, it has nudged and stepped on my heel a couple times as I’ve tried to escape it’s puzzling presence.
The foundation to happiness lies within those unspoken memories?
As a family, we know each other’s life stories. We know the sad times. The times that weren’t so good. Yet, we accept each other, not for who we were, but for who we are.
And I can’t help but think about another family. The family of God’s children. Wouldn’t it be great, if just for a little while, this family of people also could overlook each other’s faults and just focus on the pleasant?
It’s a hard happiness to find.
Yet, I’m convinced in the forgetting and the forgiving, lies the key to true happiness.