The Agony of Losing Normal; Why You Should Cherish Today

Sometimes, I will be driving home from work with the radio on, the sun warm through the windshield, and I will think how pretty the sky looks. And my mind will wander to what we are going to have for supper, what he would like.

Or I pull up in the driveway, returning from my small group, and I see one of the boys with his back to me, looking in the fridge for something to eat, and for just a second, just a split second, I think it’s him.

In that hair’s breadth of a time, more quickly than I can inhale and exhale, I feel normal again.

And, then, it’s gone.

Of course, normal is a relative term.

In fact, in our house, we have always embraced our uniqueness. We say, “Who defines normal? We’re all a little crazy.”

He said those words to me in anger on the night he died. “We’re all crazy!”

And I guess we are.

I am not so blind as to believe that “before” was perfect. It was not. I haven’t forgotten all the problems of last year. I have not romanticized the past. It was what it was.

Still, even if the pieces were a little chipped, a little ragged, they were, at least, all still here.

They were my monkeys. This was my circus, and I was the ring master.

Or so I thought.

If normal is relative, control is an illusion.

I am not normal anymore—not in any sense of the word—and I definitely recognize that I am not in control.

People who know, people who have suffered similar loss, tell me that I will eventually find a “new normal.”

But I don’t want to. And that’s the problem.

I want to sit around the table with my husband and my sons, all of them, talking over one another, laughing about something stupid, enjoying a home-cooked meal.

I want to pile in the van together to head to a movie and share slushies and popcorn and then dissect the movie on the ride home.

I want the everyday mundane routines of yesterday.

I want what I can only capture in small, slippery wisps, fragments of time and memories, the very thing I took for granted so much of my life.

I want normal.

But I am stuck in the between of what was and what is yet to come, keenly aware that life, its moments, its time, is passing by.

And if I am not careful, I am afraid that I will one day miss it too.