According to Dictionary.com, the term Normal is an adjective meaning “conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural” or meaning “serving to establish a standard”.
I don’t know about you, but I have NEVER considered my life to be normal. It has always been a roller coaster ride with twists, turns, loops, etc. However, I also NEVER expected the sudden drop of widowhood at such a young age. I understand that there is a certain rhythm to everyone’s life and this sudden turn in my life was just not one I was ready to navigate nor was I ready to find a “new” normal when I never would admit to having an “old” normal.
But there I was 40 and a widow with 3 newly adopted teenagers trying to adapt to life as it now existed. Everyone was telling me I would be ok and life would go on. I just had to find my “new” normal. Yeah, right... just find “new” normal when a “normal” life seemed to always have avoided me. And yet, I needed to find it… I needed to move forward someway… somehow.
To be honest, I have only recently found my “new” normal. As Teresa said in her blog on “new normal”, you cannot rush this process. Mine has taken over 9 years. First, I had to realize that life would never be the same… it couldn’t be...he would no longer be there. Next, I had to realize that I would never “get over it” as so many had suggested. I would just have to find a way to come to grips with the memories and the life we had and build a new life. Prior to Bob’s death, I had been a strong, goal oriented woman. After Bob’s death, I viewed myself as weak and uncertain. I did not know it then, but that strong woman was still there… she was just allowing herself to be pulled in all directions by those around her.
Life went on during those 9 years. I built and lost a business. I finished raising my children and became a mamaw. I got drunk one night and signed up on online dating websites. I began dating and not dating. I took a job I hated and finally gave it up. I went to counseling and stopped. I thought I was healed. I regressed and found counseling again. I went to church. I stopped going to church. I went back to church. I have always had faith… but sometimes facing others was difficult. Just recently, I wrote a blog about my struggles with the wedding ring. A few weeks after, I once again took off the ring. This time, I was comfortable with it. It was time for me to move on. I will always remember my husband… but I no longer feel the need to have a physical reminder.
As we have stated before, this is a journey we all share but we all have a different way on this journey. It is our hope that our stories will help you in your travels. For what it’s worth, I still do not believe that my life is or ever will be “normal”; however, I can say that I have found peace. I am still a goal driven strong woman… but now I draw my peace from my faith in God and me. I do not depend on others for it. I have a job that I love and a new gentleman in my life that I love dearly. That, for me, is my new “normal” and my “happily ever after”.
Jeni and I would love for you to share your story - be it on your normal, questions, topics for discussion or just your special story. We would love to learn from you. SHARE YOUR STORY!