Thursday, February 11, 2010

what is "normal". . .

besides (as my husband used to love to say) a setting on the dryer? But since December, he's declared that the word "normal" no longer exists in our family lexicon.

Somehow our family will return to a degree of normalcy but I don't know what that will look like or when it will happen.

My husband's mother passed away two weeks ago - just about a week after my last blog entry. My husband and his brother were called to the hospital just after lunch as she was "unstable". By late afternoon she was gone.

The following week was a flurry of activity... and that flurry won't be over any time soon as we now turn our attention to emptying her apartment and getting it ready for new tenants for month-end.

I realized today that physically I've turned on "auto-pilot", but emotionally I feel numb. I don't have answers that the others want; I don't know when our family will feel any amount "normal" again; I don't know how to be "strong" anymore and I don't know if I want to be either; I don't know how to "fix" our family as it seems that everyone has pulled away into their own world of survival. . .

All of these could work together towards helping us feel somewhat "normal" again... but somehow it won't ever be the same as it once was... and maybe that's OK...

My brother was here early January and he talked about "life defining moments" and how they, as a family, experienced some of those. I understand that the events from these last months definitely have the makings of being one of those "defining moments" for us. The question is, then, What will this "defining moment" look like? How do I/we want to proceed from here? What kind of lasting impact will these events have on our family? When we look back, will we see it as something that pulled us apart? or did it make our family bond stronger?

It somewhat feels like a refining process. If that is what it is, then I want us to come through the fire having a little more of the impurities burned away - reflecting a little more clearly the image of the One who is doing this refining in us. It's not easy. It hurts. It seems to take a long time and we don't necessarily see any immediate results. Yet. In the end, when we look back, I hope we can say it was worth it.