The New Normal
I am definitely in a more fragile state than I was a month ago. Simon’s absence is becoming more evident as the kids and I learn to navigate the new normal. We had a pretty consistent routine. Then he died. And we’re grieving. And we’re trying to figure out what is going to work best for our new family dynamic. The kids are back in school. I head back to work tomorrow. This past weekend was probably the worst I have felt emotionally in weeks. I must have cried 20 separate times yesterday. And the day itself went pretty smooth. It’s just so hard to wrap my mind around the fact that he is gone and won’t be experiencing any more moments with us – good, bad, or otherwise.
His stuff. Looking at it makes my heart ache. Every time I open the closet, I see the shirts he would wear. The shirt he wore on our first date, the shirts he wore to church, the shirts he wore to weddings, the shirts I told him to throw out and he wouldn’t. I see his boots. I loved it when he wore his leather boots. I still find myself in disbelief that I got to marry a real, live Baptist cowboy – it was something I dreamed about and talked about since I was 16.
The medicine cabinet still holds his few toiletries. He was very simple when it came to manscaping. But he was so, so picky about deodorant. He finally settled on the Trader Joe’s Unscented Stick Deodorant and would buy three to five at a time in constant fear that it would be discontinued. He was also fanatic about flossing. I have enough dental floss in the house that I may never have to purchase any again for me or the kids in our lifetimes.
Driving around yesterday afternoon, I really lost it. Tears were flowing. The empty passenger seat was glaring at me. Simon will never sit in it again. I begged God for a sign. I know you’re here God but tell me you’re here. Tell me Simon is watching over us. Do something. Say something. It seemed so silly and so desperate. I was also losing it because every preset radio station was playing terrible, stupid music. What is going on with pop music this summer? It’s awful. I hand tuned to the easy listening station as a last ditch effort. One of Simon’s all-time favorite songs had just begun – The Tide is High by Blondie. I laughed out loud. That song is hardly ever on the radio, let alone on the easy listening station. But that’s how God rolls. He speaks to us the way we need to hear it.
Sadness is still part of our every day. But so is God. Every need is being met and it would be unfair of me to deny that. Big needs, like finances, are fine. Still in a sea of paperwork, but it’s all coming together. Subtle things are adding up to show His strong hand of provision. I had three separate occasions last week where I needed babysitting. For all three, I had separate calls from friends asking if they could help at literally the specific days and times that I needed sitters. A friend popped in the other night and swooped up the laundry that had been taunting me all week. Another friend showed up this morning so I could actually get myself and the minions to church on time. Another friend made lunch and let the kids play while we enjoyed (small) adult beverages together.
That’s where I am right now. I have more fun stories to share later, but you and I signed up to deal with all of this process. And this is the kind of ugly but necessary part. Reminding myself it’s okay to cry, even if it’s 20 times a day or in front of strangers. And reminding myself that only God can fill this void. And that it WILL get better.