Friday, December 30, 2011

The New Normal

I said to my father yesterday that I just want to get life back to normal, as I'm tired of the chaos we've been living the last few weeks. He said that won't happen. This annoys me, even though I know he's right. The new normal is that my grandmother is gone. The new normal is that my husband is not bulletproof.

As I watched my husband sweat and shake and groan on that hospital bed, and I thought about what it must have been like when my grandfather died at the age of 43, I wondered at what Gram's new normal must have been like.

What I don't want is for the new normal to be run by fear. Tom wanted to drop his car off for an oil change today, and he needed me to pick him up once he did this. I didn't want him to drive since he's not supposed to yet less than a week after surgery, but he said it's a short drive and no big deal. He left the house first and I got the kids into the van. I went to the dealership, but he wasn't there. I thought, 'oh duh, wrong one' because I had gone to where we get my Kia worked on. I headed over to the Chevy dealer where they would service his Cruz. He wasn't there either. I called his phone; he didn't answer. I drove back to the first place, not there. Then back to the second, still not there. I went inside and had them look his car up in case he had gotten in quickly and already left. He hadn't. They called Chrysler next door to see if he was there. He wasn't. I called his phone again, no answer. Nearly an hour had passed and I couldn't find my husband. I felt sick to my stomach and the kids were hungry and antsy, since we were supposed to be at the mall for lunch by now. I went to the first place again and called his phone again. I was panicked, where was he? Did he get sick while driving? Was he pulled over somewhere, unable to drive? I drove home, near tears.

Once inside my daughter got on the computer and found a coupon for Goodyear on the screen that he must have printed.  I left the kids and flew up to Goodyear, where he was watching tv in the lobby. I wanted to throw things at him. He was baffled, and said that he had told me he was going to Goodyear. I hadn't heard him. I don't hear a lot of things lately that are said to me, because I'm in the fog. I noticed it while still at Gram's nursing home, when a nurse asked me if I was getting on the elevator. The doors had opened and she stood in there waiting, while I stood in front of the open doors staring into space, completely lost in my own thoughts.

I spend so much time thinking about everything that I am lost inside my own head.  Maybe this is a way to protect myself too, I don't know. Like I can draw myself away from the chaos into a peaceful place. I did that when we made a second trip to the emergency room on Monday, after Tom had spent the day throwing up. His throat was raw and swollen from being intubated during surgery, and he couldn't get any food down or keep it down. We were in the ER for 4½ hours and I lost myself playing games on my Kindle as much as I could while we waited.

I don't want to live my life in fear. I need to pray about this, a lot I think, because in my heart I know that God is sovereign and has me in His hand. But my head takes over with practical facts and reminds me of the frailty of our bodies and the brevity of life. Whatever happens, I know I can trust Him. But do I? I have to keep repeating to myself that He is faithful. He is to be trusted.

I'm so thankful for the friends & family we have that have called to check on us, prayed for us, sent cards of sympathy or get well messages, or fed us. Two girlfriends took the boys for playdates yesterday too, giving them some time out of the house and giving us some much needed quiet.  Mary called while I was writing this and asked if she could do anything for me. I told her that her phone call was what I needed most; that emotional support, knowing that our friends are holding us up when we cannot stand on our own.... that is priceless to me. ♥

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