Losing Normal: Emotions on Tuesdays

Sometimes it just hits you in the gut like a ton of bricks. There is nothing left in your life that is normal. You watch, on Facebook, at church, through blogs and e-mails, as your friends and most of your family progress through a "normal" life, with fun pictures of holidays, updates about jobs, all the little details that make up "normal". And you realize there is little left you can claim as normal. I found a photo taken a few weeks before we lost normal. What brings the tears the quickest is my children.  They don't remember "normal". I see Katy's innocence. I had never asked to learn to do laundry or cook a meal or clean a bathroom yet. She has had to grow so fast. And Rosy, so easy going and self-motivated and happy. She sometimes gets lost in the shuffle of the non-normal. How can I make my peace with these losses?? How do I see this as a gift??

One of our last days of "normal".  Two weeks before my cancer was found.
Life was messy, and crazy, and hard work.  And wonderful.

Most cancer patients go through this, as their life gets ripped to shreds by cancer, its treatment and the treatment side effects. An even smaller number continue to go through this for a long period of time. That is where our family fits, once again in the statistical margins, defying the definitions and the predictions. Even worse, it's not just cancer that has our number. It's everything from infections to accidents, and "normal" life problems gone awry, like food poisoning and routine surgery or vaccinations. Nothing goes "normal" for us.  Not in 2 1/2 years.

I have to write it, this broken heart that longs for the day when I look back and realize no one has been in the hospital for several months. The day when I realize that I have actually managed to care for my own children for a whole month without asking any relatives for help or spending any exorbitant dollar amount on childcare. The day when I realized I've cooked every meal and swept every floor and wiped every nose and taken every picture and maybe even passed a test or gone on a real...restful rather than healing...vacation.

I know, deeper or truer than most, that life is a gift and every day, however flawed, is a blessing. I know that my life is already a half-blown seed pod, and I need to be mindful of how and when and where I blow those seeds remaining. But there is such longing to just be normal again. I remember with longing a day I was frustrated because I forgot about dinner until 4 p.m. and had to rush to defrost something. I look back at a day when I cried over the 10th poopy diaper and pleaded with God for an "out" from the drudgery of motherhood, and I laugh at my near-sightedness. I recall a vacation when I fought with Aaron because of a difference of opinion about a leisure activity, and I wish I knew then what I know now. I also know that, should God ever grant "normal" life to me again, I will forget all of this, most of the time. I will take things for granted, and throw away blessed moments for the sake of my pride, and I will choose the wrong things to spend time on, and I will wound people and shock myself at how stupid I can be again so quickly. All those little details look now like the miry clay at the very bottom of the clear pool of life.

It is kind of like yearning for childhood as an adult. This longing for something easy for a change. God says to give up my life to find it. Okay, Lord. You've got my life. It's long been given up. Please help me find the new one in the wreckage. Please heal us. Please rescue us. And please let me never forget.

{a repost from the archives on this busy Tuesday: we are down at Mayo for an MRI to rule out a brain tumor as a potential cause for my sudden hearing loss - pray, please?}

This is our Emotions on Tuesdays link up. Link up to a post, old or new, about your emotions. Tuck the graphic at the bottom of your post, and come back to share your story with all of us!