HAPPINESS COMES FROM THE HEART.
I've never been much on numbers; math classes scared me. But, I do remember numbers, significant numbers, especially when they relate to special dates on the calendar. Even when I try to forget a few...the numbers insist on taking-me-back to a particular time and place.
I continue to diminish the stacks of boxes in my garage. It appears I have approximately 35 unopened boxes left-- which means I’m nearing the end of my long-unpacking journey. After almost two years of unpacking more than 700 boxes of stored memories—I’ll be so glad when it’s all over.
Today, I opened another box and found my Wedding Book-- with photos of bridesmaids, a well-decorated First Christian Church, a reception in my parents' home, and the big honeymoon "exit".
Yes, SIXTY YEARS AGO this past September 25—was my wedding day. The photo of me with my Father is my favorite picture. Most specifically, this is the only photo out of all the wedding day photos where I am truly-happy.
That day was my biggest lifetime test. Looking back, it should have been my "screen test", Just maybe, with years of pretend-playtime, I should have headed to Hollywood but--my mother wouldn't allow me out of her sight.
Too bad I was the only one who knew I was playing a part on my wedding day, pretending to be happy. Even at the young age of 20...almost 21 years....I was forced to be a convincing actress.
I was well-practiced in the art of pretend. It didn't matter if I was happy...or sad...it was only important that I please my Mother. After my year as Miss Arkansas ended, my Mother demanded I get married, start a new life as a happy bride....and marry the person she picked to be my husband.
The year--1959-- was way-back-when. There's very-little left of that Sally--- the young girl who pretended to be happy that September day. It took a divorce, many difficult times, a very-complicated career, the death of my controlling mother and---the ultimate loss of my daughters before I was finally able to be--me.
Somewhere along my challenging journey I discovered happiness and found it in the strangest place. I'm happy now because I've learned that True Happiness doesn't come from others....it comes from me.
PS. From childhood through adulthood and beyond the grave--I cherish the one person who knows me best and always loves me most. I've never had to pretend with him. The only photo in my Wedding Book that shows me genuinely happy......is the photo of me on the arm of my Father. Today, like every day, I remember him.
My Father was and will always be--my Happiness. I love you, Daddy.