I was sitting in my big chair this morning while everyone was still sleeping. I got thinking about January 10, 2011: the last day everything was normal. I don't think I have really stopped and counted the ways in which our new normal is different from our old normal. I am sure the list would be pages long and in the end it would just be depressing to see all that has changed. Even just in my head I can think of literally dozens of things that changed on January 11, 2011. I realized that I crave normal, in whatever form it takes.
It struck me this morning as I was going to Kripsy Kreme to get our weekend donut splurge. I was sitting in the drive-through and I thought to myself, "This feels normal." It was something I did before the stroke. It felt good to be doing something normal. Of course that feeling doesn't last.
Joanne needs to get up which require both of us to get her dressed, get her AFO on and her shoes. And then it takes a good couple of minutes to make it down the stairs in our house. And then there are the pills that I set out; the nearly dozen pills that she has to take every morning for everything from seizure to pain to depression, etc.. So the normal act of getting donuts runs headlong in the to the new normal of extra assistance, slow movements and medications.
On top of that I saw a women running today and something about her gait reminded me of how Joanne used to run. She often would do a five miler each day. I remember how invigorated she was when she would come home. She has nothing in her life that has replaced that activity and that feeling that she used to crave. It is hard for Joanne to see people running when we are out and about. She will often say, "I hope you appreciate it!" as we drive past.
So today I am going to do my best (the way I do most days) to just stay in the moment and not borrow from past or concern myself with what is in our future. Either one of those rhuminations doens't lead me to a good place. I need to focus on the fact that we are still a family, that we are together and that Joanne survived a really close encounter with death but thanks to God's grace she is still here with us today.
I hope that soemday the new normal really is just that: normal. A year and a half later it still doens't really feel that way. But until then I need the mental disicipline to take joy in the little things...like fresh from the oven Krispy Kreme donuts!
1. Praise for the beautiful weather we are having. We have no AC so those 100 degree days last week really made the house stinking hot (alomt 90 degrees inside). But lately it has been cooler with a little rain in the afternoons. Such a blessing! Hope it lasts for a while.
2. Praise for the love that we still have in our family. Despite all the difficulties of the last 1.5 years we still love each other and maybe even more than we used to? Not sure about that but I know we are connected at a deeper level then we have ever been before.
3. Audrey is 13. Need I say more? She is struggling and has actually been to see a pediatric psychiatrist. He is trying a few things to try and even out her cataclysmic mood swings. Pray that she will find peace. She mentioned to me in the car the other day that she feels like she has grown up fast with all that has happened. I don't doubt it. Please keep her in your prayers.