As I was driving to San Jose for a visit on Saturday, August 8, 2020, it occurred to me that this was a date I should remember. I thought on it and realized it was six years ago on this date when George and I experienced our last “normal” day together. The next day, August 9, is the day our lives would turn upside down with a cancer diagnosis . . . and we would never experience this type of normal again.
I tried to remember back to that day. It was a Friday, so I would have been off work. It is likely that I was using the day to run errands, do things around the house as that is what I would have done on a “normal” Friday. I had that day to myself as Mom would have been at SarahCare for the day. George would have been at work for at least a half day, finishing up his hours for the week. When he returned home from work, he was likely in the garage or his office making up the list of wood he needed from Southern Lumber to start building a double Adirondack chair for our backyard. The next day we had plans to go to Southern Lumber to purchase the wood. But, honestly, I cannot remember what I did that day. It was just another day, another normal day. The kind that we don’t need to remember. The kind of day when nothing significant happens so we just lump it together with all the other normal days.
There are many thousands of days that I don’t remember throughout my life. Sometimes when I talk to people I grew up with or went to school with, they will recall certain details, maybe even vividly, of things that happened. I oft wonder where on earth I was that I have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. I do not remember any such thing. I’ve told myself it’s because whatever was going on was just another typical, normal day. And most of us recall things based on something that stands out, that was so different that we think we’ll never forget it. We can remember where we were when President Kennedy was shot, when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded, when the Twin Towers in New York came imploding down. But our everyday happenings? Some of us do remember, others of us do not. Our brains are so tricky here.
So, when trying to recollect what happened on Friday, August 8, 2014, it is no surprise that I don’t remember the events of the day.
However, on Saturday, August 9, 2014, I can remember almost every single detail. We had opportunity to remember that day hundreds of times in the past five or six years as it is the day that changed our lives, changed our “normal” into something we never, ever would have expected to happen to us.
I wish we could have had more “normal” years together. As I watch other older couples walk hand in hand, I yearn for that feeling, for that comfort. Holding hands was normal for us. It gave us both a feeling of comfort and security. Our “grow old along with me” type of comfort that we thought we would have for decades. Taking walks, going on trips, all the things of a normal marriage shattered, a “new normal” that would wax and wane and take different shapes for the next five years. Constantly adapting to the changes going on in George’s body required that we not get used to anything to be consistently normal ever again.
In my new home, I haven’t yet found my new normal. With a global pandemic causing our whole world to make changes, there is nothing normal taking place and there won’t be for quite some time. I miss normal. I want normal. Normal is a more reassuring. You know, like Hallmark Movie normal. 😊 It allows us to be at peace, to enjoy a predictable pace of life and activity. I do not know what normal will look like for me – or how long it will take to find it. Soon, I hope. Soon.