Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Birthday, Joy! or Happy Birthday Joy!

Three years ago, my first blog post was about my sister, Joy.  It was called "I Know a Lady" and it was in celebration of her 80th birthday.  Well, today she turns 83.  I called her earlier to wish her "Happy Birthday" and since hanging up I've been thinking about...  

Joy.  What a great name!  In Luke, the angel said, "Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people."  Joy for ALL the people.  What a grand statement.  In fact, the NIV version of the Bible has 244 instances where joy is mentioned (155 in the King James Bible); how many times is your name mentioned?   

Joy.  Defined it means, "a source of happiness or a deep feeling of happiness or contentment."  And, at 83 what else can you be besides content?  Knowing that you've done your best... that you've shared so much of yourself with those around you.  That's exactly what Joy has done, she's so smart!

Joy.  Henry James said, "The joys we've missed in youth are like... lost umbrellas; we mustn't spend the rest of our lives wondering where they are."  When I talked to her this evening, she didn't dwell on the past.  She said, "My mind is still 25, but my body just isn't remembering how young I feel!  I wish it was cooperating a bit better."  We always laugh when we talk on the telephone. 

Joy.  Joy in learning matters.  Donald Graves reminded us to find joy in learning.  I love my conversations with Joy about learning... she's a learner for a lifetime.  She said, "If everyone would read a book every week, the world would be a better place!  And, their minds would stay young."  And she reads PLENTY, her house is full of great books and she can talk to you about them with clarity and understanding that can only come with wisdom and sincerity. 

Joy.  Did you bring joy?  Good question.  Usually it's a question someone asks at family get-togethers, "Are you bringing Joy?" or "Who's bringing Joy?"  But, today it's about the 83 years of the joy she's brought to others... which hasn't always been easy, she's worked hard!  Joy is the ONLY one of my nine siblings who can tell me stories of my Grandmother, Jennie Bell Bloomer Allen.  Joy tells me stories of quilting on Jennie's lap and her stories can take her back to the time she was three when Grandma told stories of pioneering in Kansas.  Joy's our family historian! 

Joy.  On Amazon there are 42,223 books with the word "joy" in the title.  But, I only think of one thing when I hear the word.  My sister.  We are the bookends.  A thirty-one year span between us.  We have a private little joke about that, but that's a story for another day.  For today, it's all about Joy.  And I just wanted to say, "Happy Birthday."  

Find time today for a little...

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