Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Finding the New Normal

The dust is settling. There is no current crisis, no current major medical illness, no current financial stressor.

I have to admit that all of this is nice.

Now in saying that I feel some guilt, as the greatest source of stress (which also resulted in the vast number of unknowns of life) was Dad. I was never angry at him because of it and I don't resent him for it now, it just was what it was. At the same time, I miss him, I miss sitting with him and getting his pills together and asking how he is and hearing him call out to mom even though it made me incredibly sad. I miss knowing he is there.

And so here the three of us are, in some ways "our family" for the very first time. I feel like it's an opportunity to establish how to be Us. How do we operate as a family? How do we strike our balance? What will be our routines? It's (almost) a clean slate, and I feel some urgency to get it right, although I have no idea what "right" really is.

***** ***** *****

Last year at this time we left the only home we three ever shared.
I've wondered and worried and dreamed since then about where home would eventually be.
Now we are home.

Last year at this time we prepared for Dad's newest battle with cancer.
We fought and prayed and helped and worried and struggled everyday.
Now the cancer has won.

Last year at this time I laid awake at night worrying about money.
We were fortunate enough to have had many of those demands removed while we were with Dad.
Now the worries are different, not as urgent, but just as real.

Last year at this time we packed up most of our wordly belongings and locked them in a room that we rarely entered.
We spent the year missing some things and forgetting even more.
Now we can retrieve them, but I wonder how they'll fit into this new life we create.

Last year at this time we would visit Dad from time to time.
We spent 10 months living with him almost every day.
Now I wish I had been there for him even more.

Last year at this time Sara was so small and quiet and helpless.
She spent the year learning and growing and doing new things every day.
Now I wish she would just rest sometimes. Even just a little.

***** ***** *****

Last year the Old Normal was comfortable and stifiling all at once, but offered the security of a father that I know I didn't (and still don't) appreciate. Now there are still just as many questions, but they are new and hope-filled and seem to open up the world in a way that I haven't known for a long, long time. I can't wait to see what the New Normal becomes.

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