The first “first”, was a hockey game in September 2014 and it wasn’t by any means welcomed. Shyla wore her dad’s jersey for warm up and I didn’t make it through the second period. The inaugural normal was even before the funeral and was followed by many unsought more. Recitals, hockey games, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and even a high school graduation all came and went without him.
Friends, family and others with kind thoughts kept talking about a “new normal”. Maybe they thought this was comforting but actually was one of the most absurd things I had ever heard. This was not normal.
19 months have come and gone with holidays and other special days passing. None have passed without thoughts and tears but they have passed none the less. Now there are new schools, teams, friends, jobs and even a new home. I still have one question though; what’s the new normal? Is it supposed to be routines, school, work, complacency or just days passing because honestly, none of that is normal. Being a 38-year-old widow with four children isn’t normal. Selling and building a new home isn’t normal. Starting a new business isn’t normal. Dating is not normal.
My old life seemed it though. Normal was countless filled schedules and calendars. and playing tag at the door with children in tow. It was complacency and contentment. It was waking up to coffee made and husband in the shower. Normal hasn’t returned yet but I’m not convinced that it should.
One of my biggest regrets since George died is complacency. Doesn’t sound on the surface like something that should be on the list for life’s big regrets but that’s where it is. I thought he would never leave and that life would be the same until we got the youngest to the finish line. I didn’t show emotion was well as George did or as often which left many things unsaid. I flat out thought I had more time. Time to leave nothing on the table but 57 minutes changed everything. Less than an hour from phone call to time of death. That’s the amount of time I had to wrap my mind around the thoughts of life, death and good-byes. The biggest regret is the 24 hours that preceded the 57 minutes and everything that could’ve been said. George however never left anything undone. Everyone he loved, appreciated and respected knew it and felt it. I always felt loved and felt enough. I am now challenged to not take anything for granted and pass that on to the people I love.
God hasn’t given me a life of normal and I need to remember to thank him daily for that. He has instead given me a life that is fluid and constantly changing. He is challenging me in ways I thought I would never be challenged and in ways I didn’t know I was strong enough for. There is no room for complacency in this life.
So I guess the answer is my normal never came and I am grateful for that.