There is a new normal…and that’s abnormal. When my brother-in-law needed a place to stay “for a month” while his other brother got things straightened out in another state, we looked at each other and said, “It will be two months, wait and see.” That was before Thanksgiving 2014. Since then there have been multiple hospital visits, extended stays, surgeries, visiting nurses, amputations, set backs, infections, oozing, bleeding misery. It’s enough to almost make me forget that Steve was attacked in November, had his own surgery and was unemployed for months. Almost enough to make me forget the car accident that totaled are car and has Steve out of work again.
It feels like weakness that the stress of all of this has done traumatic injury to my body, causing me incredible difficulty with eating, caused vomiting, extreme nausea (is that a new sport?) I am beyond weary and am making choices of where to expend my energy. I had three nights in a row with something to do. Wednesday – Choir practice, Thursday – Prayer Meeting, Friday – Coffee/Dinner with a friend I haven’t seen in ages. I selected Wednesday and Friday. I wanted to do Thursday, but my body simply won’t allow all of that. I hate the tautology “it is what it is” but there you have it. Accepting the things you cannot change. Understanding that this is reality…at least for this time in my life I cannot do all three. I long to do all of them, but I cannot.
My BIL exploded at me last night when I asked him how he was feeling. I didn’t take it personally, I’m surprised he hasn’t lost it before now. He has been extremely brave through all of this, with very little whining or complaining. I would have been an emotional puddle on the floor long before this. He has been stoic, kind of “let’s get on with it” attitude. His frustration now is more than understandable. I wonder “how long?” How much more must he wonder the same thing?
Someone I know is dealing with a “new normal” that involves hospital timetables, feeding tubes, tests, specialists, and near constant worry. For her, the normal world of the grocery store is almost an affront, as she sees so many people completely unaffected by the stresses, worries and difficulties of her life. I am feeling a little bit the same way. How is it possible that our lives are so encapsulated that we don’t know, don’t step into, don’t share the worries and difficulties of our neighbors? How is it that we live so far from families and close friends who can share in these things? I’ve begun to wonder about the people who live across from me, next to me, diagonally from me. Part of me wants to be the social chairperson who organizes a cookout for the building. Part of me wants to sit on my patio and simply watch the world go by. Lord have mercy.