Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Is it Time to Find a New Normal?

"Thank goodness life is back to normal now."

This is a quote I heard several times in various forms over the past few evenings from other parents.  Our junior high school production of Willie Wonka concluded the previous weekend.  This is no little school play.  The kids and teachers start rehearsing before Christmas break and is a fully staffed student production.  Some of the students act, others are backstage handling props, others responsible for the sound and lighting, and still others in charge of make-up and costumes. 

The last few weeks have involved late rehearsals ending at 6:30 pm and weekends creating the sets.  Factor in homework, additional obligations and suddenly not only are the kids schedules crazy, but so are the parents.

So, the comments about life being back to normal really meant a life back without the play.

Is it bad that this statement upsets me?  I feel guilty that I get upset whenever someone makes a similar statement - especially since all of our lives are busy.  But for me, I cannot imagine life EVER being normal again.

Cancer has taken normal away from me....and for that I am extremely angry and has been a rotten day - for a variety of reasons - but for some reason, I can't seem to shake that "life is back to normal" comment.  I know my friends don't mean anything by it other than we can go back to a regular routine (as crazy as those are) but it just always reminds me that my life is anything but normal.

Having a spouse pass away is difficult.  It brings along extreme loneliness that only other widows/widowers can really understand.  We are single against our will.....we are single after being in a successful loving relationship.  We are parents 365 days of the year - and feel VERY guilty whenever we take any time for ourselves....although that time is important and necessary.
I love my kids but there is no normalcy to not having any adult conversation....once the kids go to bed, it gets very silent in the house (not as often now that two of my children are now teenagers).....there are some weekends in which I have absolutely no contact with anyone under the age of 15.

We all have stressful days - whether it be an issue at work, traffic, car trouble, finances, etc.  The difference with me is that I don't have a spouse at home to help alleviate the added stress of picking up three kids, getting them fed, making sure homework is completed, and the biggest stresser of all - keeping their schedules straight and figuring out how to be in three places at one time.  There is no one there to give me a hug, tell me everything will be alright, pour me a glass of wine, offer to monitor baths, homework or just take the kids out for a little piece and quiet.  My children have seen emotions that children should not have to see from a parent.  Parents are supposed to be strong but I can't tell you the number of times I have fallen apart and my kids have had to be the strong ones.   (I would be remiss if I didn't give a boat load of THANKS to my friends that help me each and every day whenever I ask for questions asked and no request to large.)

All because of cancer.  There is no rhyme or reason....and I certainly wouldn't want another family to be impacted so ours could be spared.  I just wanted cancer to go away!  Leave all of us alone.  Shoo cancer shoo....

Nope, life is not back to normal.  Guess I just need to find a new normal.

Please consider supporting my efforts in kicking cancers ass so others can continue with their normal. 
In less than 30 days I will be running 26.2 miles through the streets of Los Angeles for those that cannot run because cancer stole their lives from us or are waging a battle against cancer.  If you are interested in sending a message to cancer, please make a donation using the link below to access my on-line fundraising page:

1 comment:

  1. This is a great reminder of the diverse realities our friends live in on a daily basis. Thanks, Barb.