Reclaiming Normal

Friday, February 08, 2008
The stress of these past weeks has been showing up through subtle cracks in the framework of life, or so it seems.

The physical and mental preparations required for a significant surgery in someone near to you are significant. And I suppose the fact that this isn’t a repair job on a knee or some wart removal process just adds to the pressure.

True, this kind of surgery is a regular occurrence, but it’s the what’s next that adds an unknown quality to life. And there are enough concerns with Lauralea’s thyroid and the ever increasing cyst/tumor/growth/lump by professionals who care for us that causes us to take this seriously too.

We have communicated these concerns with the kids and family and some friends because it’s important that they know. But it’s hard to communicate the truth, or possible truth, without it becoming pessimistic or dwelling on the negative possibilities.

Nor do you want to be all, “Oh everything’s fine, no problem, life as usual, cheerio, stiff upper lip and all that what,” either. (The Brits do seem to do a good job at that whole thing.)

No, you want to estimate carefully and communicate honestly, which seems to be a fuzzy line, depending on how tired you are.

And the individual reactions occur in different ways. A child travels home just to be with you a bit. Phone calls that linger. Longer good bye hugs. A kid sobbing into a pillow over a normally insignificant frustration. Stray, random thoughts shoot through your mind at odd times. Hands held a bit longer after praying grace together.

It’s not that anything has changed since yesterday we tell ourselves. Yet everything has changed and we know it. That bit of information about a small piece of a loved one’s body changes things. And that kind of change is difficult to learn how to live around.

The longer we live into the change the more we realize its just the new normal. Whatever happens with the future, even if it’s rosy and good and sunny, we know and will know the difference between how we used to live, and the new normal we find ourselves living in now.

Yes we will settle down and things may feel like they used to feel. I expect we’ll go on living like we used to live. But we will be different people. It makes you different, or at least it gives you a different perspective on life when you live through different realities or shapes of normal.

I am not sure if it is possible to reclaim normal, or if you simply go on to create a new normal. Some of you know those questions and answers much better than I do and I’ll leave it to you who have handled your own shades of normal so wisely, so graciously.

But as for us, these days seem to be times of searching for normal.
New or old, at this point we’ll take any kind of normal.


  1. Strange times indeed - so sorry that they have been prolonged for another week. Be kind to yourselves and know God's gentle touch.

  2. PS And because of the sensitivity of this post I guess I can overlook the outmoded national stereotyping you indulged in. Although shouldn't you be working off the stress by doing something hearty on ice, or chopping down trees or eating maple syrup ? Cheerio !

  3. we brits do not "have a stiff upper lip", we are just good at hiding things.

    god's blessing on you both

  4. Meant to comment when you first did this post, but I didn't really know "what" to say... But, this post was very well said; I appreciated your openness and vulnerability. And I hope you guys reclaim some normalcy soon. Take care this week.

  5. My prayers for you for an extra heap of God's grace. MUCH love to you both!


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