Lately we've been trying to find a new normal around here. After Rob's dad died two weeks ago, we spent the first week in Miami planning his memorial service. That first week, I was convinced we were facing the hardest part. I thought for sure that when we got back to Orlando, it would be so much easier to go into our routine and just move forward. Back to work, back to taking care of our house, cooking dinners, doing chores. But when we got back home, I realized I was wrong about that. Going back to work just felt weird. Planning Roy's memorial service gave me a sense of purpose, a focus. But going back to the same activities we'd done before he died felt awkward. Like trying to fit a puzzle piece into the wrong space. It was supposed to feel right; I expected it to feel right. But it didn't. And I guess that makes sense, because nothing about what happened feels right at all.
Rob and I have often discussed moving forward after losing his dad. We both know that Roy was not one to want anyone to change their routine for him, even when he was sick. He wanted life to be as normal as possible for everyone, including himself. Even when he was receiving chemo in the hospital, he was still working and talking to business associates via computer and phone. Still talking to his sons about sports and their lives. Still spending time with his wife. He believed in moving forward, and so do we. But sometimes it's hard to move forward, because we realize how much things have changed. We look at the year ahead of us and realize that some days will be really hard, especially for Rob and his mom and brother. We talk about his dad a lot, and are reminded he's not with us anymore. We cry. We get angry. We ask, "What if?"
And yet we try to balance all of that with the demands of our individual lives and our life together. We are building our new normal. I think finding that new normal is like breaking in a new pair of shoes. It feels weird. It hurts. We wish we could go back to what we had before, the times that didn't hurt the way this does. But we are trying to move forward, to get a tiny bit more comfortable each day with this new life. And in our new life, we make a lot of space for Rob's dad. Memories, pictures, laughter, tears. Because even though he isn't physically with us, he will always be a part of everyone that knew him. He will always be a part of our lives, just in a different way. I think that moving on after someone dies doesn't mean you forget them, or you're leaving them behind. I am starting to believe that their memory and the lessons they taught you and the mark they left on your life goes on.
I also believe that you can allow a loss like this to change your life. I'll likely write more on this later, but lately I've been trying to really enjoy this life. Enjoy the little moments. Appreciate the time I spend with my family. Because I know we really don't have any idea how much time we get to live this life. I've noticed in the past couple of weeks how Rob and I have been trying to enjoy the little things, enjoy each other. To be happy and appreciate the fact that life is a special occasion. And I think we also appreciate the difficult moments as well. We draw closer together and allow ourselves to grieve. I am grateful for the moments that I can be here for Rob when he needs me. I appreciate him allowing me to be there for him, even though it pains me to see him sad. We are still figuring it all out, this new normal of ours. It's just beginning. But I am hoping that even with the sadness, we also find joy, peace, and healing.