I took my sons out for a Mommy day. I had spent the previous days in the hospital with my Father and been a Mommy ship passing them in the night.
We dropped off Uncle Michael at the airport and went shopping in the big city. First stop was a ginormous Toys R Us where we discussed the merits of legos over skateboards, and spiderman over some anime thing I couldn’t pronounce.
We then went to one of the boys favorite restaurants, Cracker Barrel. Peggy, the gregarious waitress, engaged my kids in a long conversation over the apple butter and fried chicken. Upon discovering they played baseball, she asked for their autographs for when they become famous. I wept.
The chicken was good, but not good enough for tears. I wept because Peggy couldn’t know the hell the children were about to face. Their grandfather was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer just the day before. As they chatted about baseballs and doggies and grandkids (Peggy has 8 grandkids and 1 dog who helps her take off her apron) I wept because this was so normal. They were being loved abundantly by a stranger. Love they will need for the journey ahead.
My new normal will consist of loving my children abundantly in the midst of this slow and unfolding tragedy. My new normal will be to pray more while I wrestle with the questions of “Why?” and “How?”. My new normal will be to eat less while I coax him to eat anything he wants.
I’m seasoned and humble enough to choke on platitudes and easy answers. God’s will is as foreign as the Romanian phone book. For now let this be the picture of the new normal.