Some of you read what I write because you genuinely care about how I am doing, some of you read it just to see what the goofy old man has on his mind today. If you are in the first group I thank you, if you are in the second group I understand; I sometimes go back and read them to see what the goofy old man had on his mind last week. Some of you may just have an Internet habit and read it because it is there; I know about Internet habits and I am sure there are other reasons.
I am going to talk to the first group tonight. I’m not sure you will understand how I’m doing because to be honest I’m not sure I know. I have been attempting to run my thoughts through a keyboard for the past 3 ½ years or so. The two things that have been most difficult for me to write about are things I am still trying to understand and to answer the question; how are YOU doing? I hope we both understand what I have to say.
We have all heard and most of us have used the phrase or term “get back to normal”, that is very appropriate when we have experienced a temporary change in our lifestyle. Maybe as we recover from an illness or the grandkids have gone home after spending a few days just to name a couple. We hoped Sharyl’s illness was one of those temporary things and we could “get back to normal”
A few times during my adult life I have experienced significant and permanent change; “getting back to normal” was not an option, I had to establish a “new normal”. When Sharyl and I got married we had fun figuring out what was “normal”; we replaced that normal with a new one when the family grew; we continually adjusted or tweaked normal but sudden or drastic changes weren’t necessary. I guess the next normal we had to establish was when the nest was empty. I’m sure it wasn’t all fun but the memories are good, and as I remember things usually fell in place rather quickly.
I am trying once again to figure out what is normal; unlike the previous times so far things aren’t just falling in place and fun isn’t one of the words used to describe the process.
I don’t know if my emotions will continue to improve or if I need to accept what I have experienced the past four months as normal. The improvement has been extremely slow and yes most days at some point during the day I shed a few tears. Through all those other normals I was one of those guys that very rarely shed a tear, I’ve learned it is OK to do so but I would prefer somewhere between the way it was and the way it is as my new normal.
It is now normal for me to spend a lot of time alone. In a recent conversation with a friend I realized I had never lived alone until January 23rd of this year. I either lived with my parents or had a roommate prior to our marriage. The nights are the most difficult and it is very lonely, I probably need to get used to that one because it is obviously part of the new normal. Sharyl always accused me of not really liking people and made me promise not to become a hermit. I wasn’t as much of a people person as she was, but becoming a hermit isn’t in my future.
Some couples enjoy doing different things in their free time; maybe he plays golf and she prefers gardening or shopping. Sharyl and I enjoyed the same things; therefore we normally spent most of our free time together. Ballgames and lake time were two of the things we enjoyed.
We watched a lot of ballgames together each of us enjoying them in our own way. By the end of the third inning or the first quarter she knew all the kids names and as the season progressed she knew their parents, grandparents and little sisters. I watched the game and ate my peanuts or popcorn.
I recently did an entire blog about the lake place. I won’t revisit that, but just mention it is another of the things we enjoyed doing together, and yes with her competitive nature she always knew who caught the most fish. I didn’t care; I just hoped we caught some fish.
I know doing those things without her will continue to be difficult. I have been to a few games and spent some time at the lake and obviously it isn’t the same. I initially thought about not doing those things anymore, just finding some replacement hobbies. That would be a little silly; if I had wanted to play golf or poker I would have taken it up years ago. I will try to adjust to not knowing the second baseman’s name or if he has a little sister, and accept the fact that the new normal will probably never be as fun as the old one.
I got a lot of experience taking care of our home during her illness of course I tried to do it her way hoping she would relieve me of my duties when we got back to normal. I have made a few subtle changes in appearance and in the way I do things. With the exception of the loneliness I talked about earlier I think the new normal in the home may be taking shape. I started to say in MY home; I still can’t do that it is still our home.
One thing that will always be a part of my normal is: I love you babe and I miss you every day.
I probably didn’t say it very well, but to summarize. I hope I am still a long way from my new normal. Some days are better than others I don’t really think the good ones are getting any better but I don’t believe the bad ones are as bad as they were.
If I see you and you ask how I’m doing, I will try to do you a favor and just say; I’m doing OK or I’m getting there or something like that.
Keep me in your prayers.
Good Night and God Bless.