Seeking “Normal”

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Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about what life was like before all of this started in early March. We worked our jobs, took the kids to school, bought groceries. Worried about car repairs, meetings, and other typical things. Health concerns would involve colds or the occasional stomach bug.

We often think about “normal” as something to build upon. For example, a common question or daydream is “What would I do if I won the lottery?” One thinks about not having to work another day in their life, traveling the country, or taking a cruise. Life would get better, we think.

Nowadays, for me “winning the lottery” would be Josh waking up and not having cancer. Sleeping in my own bed. Being in the same house together as a family. Worrying about “ordinary” things. When things get busy or stressful, it is easy to take certain blessings for granted. But, I’d want some of that back, just so things could feel normal.

The goal for Josh is for him to get healthy again and, at the same time, for things to go back to normal. Often, things have happened to us that we just worked through, and then looked back and thought, “well, that happened,” before continuing on with life. For example, a flat tire or a washer needing to be replaced, or when Kayla dislocated her knee and then completed physical therapy. And, I hope that there will be a point where Josh will be healthy, safe, and independent. But, I don’t think that life will ever feel the same as it did back in March.

I wish there was a dial somewhere that I could use to adjust the situation. Right now, it would probably be turned all of the way over to “Uber Crazy.” I’d definitely dial it back down to “Normal.” But, I suspect that by now the label for normal will have been crossed out and replaced with the words “New Normal.”

And yet, if we go back to what life felt like back in February and March, the only real difference between then and now is that we didn’t know that Josh had cancer. We saw he was having trouble with his knee, but could have never made the connection on our own unless we knew what to look for. So, was our idea of normal just something that we believed in out of our own ignorance? Did life truly change, or did we change as reality caught up with us?

So, maybe a better way to look at things is to say “that was then, and this is now.” And, that eventually “now” will get better. And in a situation like this, the best we can hope for is to be able to move forward, and try to keep things in perspective. Eventually, we all will be back in our house together, including  Josh, and he will get better. As tough as things get, Josh still has his strength, there is hope, and we have each other.


  1. Stay strong Warriors! From your post I can tell this has aged you beyond your years. Many of us have these conversations with ourselves as we turn 60 or 65. Now that you can talk the talk, walk the walk! Live like it really means something. Prayers to you and yours everyday. You know many of us with we could more . . .

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