In Search of Normal

I catch myself saying stuff like “Maybe now things can get back to normal.”

The funeral is over. Dad will be cremated, so we still have the interment at the veteran’s cemetery “at the convenience of the family,” which means when there is no snow on the ground and we don’t risk frostbite for the service. But we no longer have to make that daily trip to the Health Center. The strange thing is I think I’m going to miss it. The staff was so good to Dad that many of them became a second family to us. And I’ll miss several of the more memorable residents.

Which leads to my question. What the heck is “normal?” Those trips to the Health Center became our “normal” for the last 15 months. Stressful? Yes. Heartbreaking? You bet. But that’s been life as we know it for my mom and me.

I vaguely remember six and seven hour writing days. That’s what I’m shooting for in my definition of “normal.” Keeping up with the housecleaning and laundry would be good, too. But it will take a while before it becomes the norm. Because, let’s face it, I’ve lost a parent. What WAS normal is never to be again.

Life is change. Death, taxes and change. Count on it. But change is the most frequently occurring of the three and often it stinks as much as the other two. We settle into a routine, carve out a comfortable rut in our daily grind. Normal. Then something rocks our world. Our regular schedule tumbles into ruins. Sometimes the shakeup is temporary and the dust settles and we’re back to “normal.” Sometimes pieces are missing to the puzzle of our life that can never be retrieved and we must rebuild and redefine who we are.

That’s where I am now. In search of “normal.”

P.S. Sammie’s biopsy results were not good. Normal may be farther down the road than I’d like to admit.


Judith said…
Annette: You've been through a very stessful and sad/ but happy time. Your Dad was ready to pass on but being left behind is so much harder than moving on.

I lost all my folks five years ago and still mourn. It's what we do as humans and it makes our stories more poignant.

Joyce said…
I don't think there is such a thing as normal. Routine, maybe, but not normal.

It's hard losing a parent no matter when it happens. I was only two years old when my dad died, so I don't remember him. My mom died a week before I turned 19. I know I mourned her at the time, but her death really hit me hard when she'd been gone 25 years. I guess you never really get over it. You just learn to live with it.

Sorry to hear about Sammie. Wish you'd gotten better news.

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