The Gift Of Happiness

By Joseph J. Mazzella • March 5, 2013

It was the Summer of my freshman year of college. Instead of heading home for a nice, long break three of my friends and I had decided to stay and take some extra courses. The four of us had rented the top floor of an old house to live in. My own bed was jammed into a stuffy former laundry room and each night was a new adventure in humidity. Still, it felt exciting to be out of the dorms and in my own place for the first time. After the first few weeks, though, the thrill faded and homesickness set in. I found myself sitting alone in my sweaty bedroom each night thinking of my home, my Mom, and my Dad.

My Summers growing up had always been a special time. I spent hours riding my bike, playing basketball and swimming. I sat on the porch and talked to my Mom while she tended her flowers. I took pride in helping my Dad haul firewood for the Winter. And every night I sat at a dinner table full of delicious food prepared with love while my family filled the room with the sound of sweet laughter. Now I found myself missing them more than ever.

Finally when my spirits were at their lowest I heard a knock at the door. I opened it and was delighted and surprised to see Mom and Dad standing there with big smiles to fill my hungry heart and a box full of food to feed my hungry friends. We spent the afternoon eating, catching up, and just being together. It felt so good, and I felt so loved.

Victor Hugo wrote that, "The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that one is loved; loved for oneself, or better yet, loved despite oneself." It was that gift of happiness that my Mom and Dad gave me that afternoon and everyday of my life. It was their love that gave me a taste of the even greater love that God has for us all. May you always know that you are loved. May you always feel God’s love within you. And may you always share your happiness with the world.

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