Saturday, December 29, 2007

Happy because or Because Happy?

While leaving the restaurant after lunch today, Miss M proclaimed "Mom, I'm skipping!" After praising her, I asked "Are you happy because you're skipping?" I immediately had a flashback to a conversation I had many years ago with my late Uncle Ken. It was one of those "hmmm" moments and often comes to me at times such as this.

Uncle Ken was diagnosed with ALS (AKA Lou Gehrig's Disease) while I was living in Los Angeles. Although I saw him on a few of the trips back to Iowa, generally my memories of him are of his healthier days. He was very athletic, active in both softball and volleyball, loved to play guitar and was often singing. One day when I heard him singing, I commented "You're singing; you must be happy about something." His response was very simple – "Am I singing because I'm happy? Or am I happy because I'm singing?"

Of all the memories I have of Ken, that's the memory that tends to surface the most. I doubt he ever expected that thought provoking little question to become a legacy of his.