There are different kinds of love. And happiness. There are different kinds of love and different kinds of happiness. Would you agree? I love Doug differently than I've ever loved anyone. But, I love my niece and nephew differently than I love Doug. And my sister and brother? There's a whole other kind of love. Each one is different, special and real in it's own right.
And happiness... How different happiness can feel! At the end of the Ironman, I was happy. I was also very tired and relived that I made it through without falling off the bike at least once during the 112 miles. At the birth of my nephew, it was a body-filling warmth and overwhelming joy of happiness. And then there's the happiness that is seen by way of a smile when I see a Boston Terrier walking down the street. Or an English Bulldog. Well, let's be honest, anything that has fur, walks on four legs and barks can elicit a smile. But, then there's the happiness of seeing someone who you haven't seen in years, and for whom you have such fond memories you are taken back to those childhood years, those when you last saw them.
I attended a dinner event last night. The keynote speaker was preparing to take the stage when a girl came up to me who looked familiar. I knew she wasn't from high school or college, but I couldn't quite fit from where I knew her. Then, she told me her maiden name and I was instantly smiling from ear-to-ear. She had two sisters, with whom Whitney and I would play with often. Her mom baked our birthday cakes... the kind that were molded into a certain character and then made distinctive with the different color icing. I remember the Strawberry Shortcake and Kermit the Frog cakes well. The memory made me smile. I also remembered laughing in their play house, the five girls, and hemming and hauling over piercing our ears. See, they had a hole punch that was smaller than the standard sized hole punch, which we thought was just the right size we needed to give ourselves a nice piercing in the ears. Luckily "T", who I saw last night and who was the oldest (and clearly the wisest of the group) talked us out of it. I will always be eternally grateful for her wisdom on that day, many years ago!
The happiness I felt upon seeing her and briefly catching up, was genuine and real. It's moments such as last night's and friends such as "T" that have stood the test of time, even when I haven't seen her in 20 years, that make me smile from the inside out. Another example of it being the little things in life that truly bring the greatest, and most authentic kinds, of happiness...