Commode To Joy

finding happy (even in the crappy)

Human Highlights: Sentimentality

Human Highlights is a Sunday tradition at Commode To Joy. It’s a friendly reminder to forgive your human moments, celebrate the highlights, and enjoy.


Human Moment: Have you ever grieved someone who’s still alive?

Yesterday, one of my cousins included a picture of my beloved Grandma Alice in a group message. When I saw it, two simultaneous thoughts crossed my mind.

Let me first say that there are two types of thought – the kind you can control/correct/rewrite and the kind you can’t. The latter of the two is reactive, springing up instantaneously, oftentimes making the thinker agree, disagree, or be thankful that no-one else can hear it.

My two simultaneous thoughts would be best kept to myself, so naturally, I’m sharing. When I saw Grandma’s picture, I thought “It’s beautiful,” and “obituary picture.” My heart swelled with love for my grandma and then it shattered because I’ll have to say goodbye to her someday.

This is not the first time I’ve cried knowing that I won’t always be able to pick up the phone calling her for advice. I won’t always be able to drive down her country road knowing that she’s sitting on the other side of the big living room window watching my approach. I won’t always be able to meet her for lunch or take her out for her birthday or receive birthday cards addressed in her textbook-worthy cursive.

I can’t hardly type this without crying yet again.

Grief. It’s not a welcome friend, but it is a known acquaintance. And though its appearance changes from year to year and from person to person (or pet), its presence is undeniable.


Highlight: Fourth of July is my favorite holiday. Watching fireworks is my favorite Fourth festivity.

It’s become tradition to take our boat on the lake and watch the show from the water. It offers the best views in town while avoiding the crowd.

On the water, other boaters are around you, but you each have your own space. A boat marks perimeters more than a lawn chair or a blanket.

From this boat-sized bubble, I look around knowing that cars are parked to the side of the 36/121 bridge, that people are sitting outside of Nelson Park, the Beach House, and across the lawn from St. Mary’s. An impressive amount of people turns out for this annual event.

There’s something awe-inspiring about seeing so many people gather and sit still for the sake of pleasure and enjoyment (and perhaps some nostalgia too).

“And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.” At some point each year I hear Francis Scott Key’s apropos lines while watching fireworks. And then, because I’m such a sentimentalist, I tear up.

This twenty-minute show is my highlight, not just of the week, but of the entire year.


Enjoyment: I saw Potter Monday.


July 2017

I adopted him from a local shelter in 2009. He was my everything, and I his, and then I had a kid.

Potter was okay toward Miller – do I have an affinity for English surnames or what? – but, and this is a big but, he was not okay with me being a mom.

When he resigned to the fact that I could not dote upon him in mass heaps as I had previously, he broke up with me. His green eyes that once looked at me with affection, well, let’s just say he didn’t need fingers to flip me off.

The short version of this story is that I found Potter a new home with a father/daughter whom we knew through CrossFit. She has since become one of our go-to babysitters. This past Monday, we took a field trip to her house so Miller could “meet” Potter. (Miller was four months old when Potter moved in with his new family.)

Potter & Miller

June 2014

Pot hasn’t changed much – he’s still fat and sassy. Whereas he used to act out against me, Monday he acted out against Miller, batting at him with warning meows. I made a great decision finding that boy a new home.

If you’re curious, he still loves me.

Potter Kisses

Kitty Cat Kisses

What are your Human Highlights from the week? Leave one of your moments in the comments below.

Categories: Death & Grief, Odes To Joy

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