I’m not sure about other people, but sometimes I’ll be moving along just fine, then out of the blue a melancholy with settle over me. This happened to me a couple of days ago. I was cruising through my day, feeling productive and content. Suddenly, in the late afternoon, an inexpiable gloom rested on me. I’d been floating fine through my day, but the downcast spirit hit like a wall against me. I remember thinking, “This is weird. I can’t think of a reason to feel this way. Everything was fine, and now it just isn’t.”

I wasn’t very good company to my family through dinner. I wasn’t harsh or mean, just distant. Thankfully, the evening was soon over, the kids were in bed, and I lost myself in television for an hour waiting for my husband to get home from a late meeting. I assumed a good night’s rest was all the cure my sour mood would need.

It wasn’t. I awoke the following morning in the same funk. I checked the calendar, hoping I could blame my mood on hormones. It wasn’t that. What the heck was wrong with me?

Things started spiraling out of control the rest of the morning. I was a storm of irrational emotions. My poor husband had no idea what he was walking into when he came home for lunch. I was crying and whining about everything and nothing. I’m sure it felt disjointed to him, but that didn’t compare to how wild and garbled it felt in my own heart and mind.

I made it through the rest of the day, but by bedtime I was a crying mess again. My patient but weary husband tried to listen without fixing, but I could tell he was shell-shocked. Finally, in exasperation I blurted out, “And it’s not like there is a reason for this sadness. Everything is fine. We aren’t going through anything stressful, there isn’t a major trauma or transition in our lives, and I can’t even blame it on PMS!”

As soon as those words poured from my mouth, something in me quickened. Yes, everything in my current life was going along just fine and pleasant. But two years ago, to the exact days, I was saying my final goodbyes to my dying grandpa.

While my mind was off and running in the now, my heart remembered.

It’s a strange thing when your heart remembers something your mind fails to register. My grandpa died on my son’s birthday. Two years after my grandpa’s death, I’m pinning Star Wars cake ideas and purchasing birthday presents, not holding vigil of my grandpa’s final moments. My girls have dance practice and we have 4H projects to plan and school is wrapping up. Even though I love my grandpa and often thing of him and miss him, my mind wasn’t tracking.

My heart was, though. My heart remembered.

It’s been a relief to pinpoint the source of my heartache. I am writing this on the exact anniversary of my grandpa’s passing. Knowing now what my heart’s been trying to tell me, I’m going to take some time today to remember my grandpa, revisit my final moments with him, and shed some meaningful tears. Then, while keeping his memory close, I’m going to pour myself into the joy of celebrating my son on his birthday.

The sadness is already lifting.

Dusty Reed

Dusty is a wife, a mother and a friend. Having grown up in a big city, she is now raising her family of seven on a farmstead in rural Nebraska. During weekdays Dusty can be found teaching her children at the dining room table. Or napping; it can be exhausting raising five kids! Dusty is always on the lookout for ways to avoid housework. Her favorite ways are meeting friends for coffee, preparing meals to take to others, or simply laying in a hammock with a good book. Often feeling like an inadequate mess, Dusty is allowing God to enter into those fragile parts of her heart to heal it. Anything she learns along this tangled path of life, she longs to share with others.