When I wrote this, I was sitting in a coffee shop, relaxed and cozy in a cushioned chair, while my sister-in-law was straight in the middle of child labor and my brother was [probably] standing by wondering how to help. Life is weird. But I made a painting and I’m excited to share it!
Andrew and Kelly asked me to paint something to go in their nursery for baby Emery. I sat on it for months because I didn’t want to just paint something that would match the rest of the room. It felt like I had the chance to welcome this baby into the world in a unique way.
Wherever you go… May you be well, little Emery.
This isn’t my baby, but I still feel the excitement of having a new little spirit in the world. It’s hard to grasp that suddenly there is a new human here, and nobody knows anything about who he will be or what his entire life entails. YOU GUYS, this new little guy will be an old grandpa someday—What?!
Wherever you go… May you be well, old grandpa Emery.
This all got me thinking about what you can possibly wish for a new life. I heard the lyric, “May you be well,” in a song recently and it had me all teary. It’s so perfect. I think it’s easy for us to wish happiness for the people we love. We ask one another, “Are you happy?” over and over but then when someone is honest and says they are not happy, we feel a bit uncomfortable. We don’t know how to sit with it. It almost seems there's this societal pressure to be happy and an actual belief that to be fully living we are supposed to feel “happy” as often as possible.
But what if I’m not happy when someone asks? Am I letting them down? I’m not living up to their wish for me anymore… Am I making them uncomfortable? Why do I feel bad when I am honest about happiness? What a strange way to react to a well-intended question.
In my opinion, “happy” is missing the mark and it’s not my wish. Not for myself and not for this new baby. Happy is a feeling. A feeling that comes and goes with circumstances. It’s not dependable. It’s not promised to us. Nobody can expect to experience one feeling for his/her whole life.
Wherever you go… May you be well, Emery.
So, here is where all of this brings me.
My hope for Emery, and everyone I love, is to be “well”. Well isn’t a feeling; It’s a condition of being. It’s right at the core of who we are, and it can’t be taken away by circumstances and stressors. Well is knowing who we are and not letting the world tell us otherwise. Well is having hope and perspective regarding things we can’t see. If we are well, we can have joy and peace even when life is taking turns that we aren’t in control of. We don’t have to be happy to be well. Wellness means we have an assurance that circumstances may be fleeting but God is not.
I want Emery to be well, wherever he goes in this world, and I will pray that for him my whole life long.
Jones Emery was born on November 16th, 2017 and is happy and healthy :) Emery is his middle name, our grandpa’s name and our dad’s middle name, which makes this not only a letter and a prayer to Jones Emery, but also a letter and a prayer to the generations of my family.