An epiphany of a sort has been creeping in this week. Perhaps it was highlighted by the loss of a sweet woman in the blog-o-sphere. This woman brought back many images of me and my family in my darker days. She battled cancer and sadly succumbed to the disease last week. I follow a few blogs that were touched by this woman and her family's plight and many candles have been lit for them. I too walked the chaotic path of cancer within my family unit and was overwhelmed by its power. That time period will be with me always and I feel deeply and with such sorrow for any that have to walk that path. My cancer journey was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life, but the grief journey that followed was even harder. I was shocked at the amount of work that it takes to process grief and am often still surprised by the knock and reminders that will live with me forever about these difficult days. I would never have believed how many tears could be shed, but I somehow survived and face a new day every day of my life.
What has struck me this week is something different though. Weeks before my husband was diagnosed, we had just had our first child. Ten months before that we celebrated our love by tying the proverbial knot (no need to do the math -she was our honeymoon stage gift!). Our days before that were filled with wedding planning and home renovations to our newly purchased home in a new town. For a period of about five years, I think that I hit a ridiculous number of stressors (good and bad) on the scale of stress factors. I seemed to only be able to function if we were going through some change or transformation. When Brad died, a big piece of me went with him. The death of my cousin a few months following, was just another in a long line of stressors that I just could not deal with any more. I caved and leaned on whatever supports that I could. Other friends and family disappeared at that time, but time refused to stop. I held on treading water and with help have moved through a seemingly insurmountable amount of carnage. And now...
Now, I am normal.
This week I looked at myself and noted that I have nothing going on in my life. I am working part-time and am happy with that. I am writing in this blog and working on two books when I can. I do yoga, participate in a drum circle and am part of a book club. I have two beautiful daughters that I love more than my life. They give me a reason to get up in the morning and put a smile on my face when I am not scolding them for some little thing that is normal for children their age. I have friends that enjoy my company and family that cares about what I feel and do. My worries and stresses are the everyday bland kind of stress that everybody goes through. My grief is still mine, but it does not rule me anymore. I face the day and the worst of it could be deciding what to make for dinner, scheduling a vet appointment for the cat, or making sure the bills are paid on time. All normal. Normal. Wow. You probably do not understand why this affects me so, but it is an epiphany that I noted for me this week. I am just like everyone else. I can shed tears for others today and do, but my life is okay just the way it is. And I think I like it.