I’m taking a little break today from the Be(ar)ing Burdens series because, well, I do what I want.
In the past few weeks, I have found myself often saying things like: “I have a weird request…” or “I hope this doesn’t seem weird, but…” or “Wow, I do really weird things now…” or “I’m sorry that was so weird…”
Then, last night, in a comment conversation with a new friend, she said the very thing I have been needing to hear:
“Exactly. I always say, there is no more weird after experiencing this devastating tragedy… Emailing strangers, feeling closer to some you met on the internet than others you’ve known for years in real life, driving across the country for a meetup… Nope, none of it is strange now…”
It seems like my life has become a series of weird things, and I’m beginning to think that all this “weird” is actually the new “normal” of my life. Because, like my friend said, “there is no more weird after experiencing this devastating tragedy.” So, here’s a little glimpse into the weird and random things that have become part of my new normal.
Tuesdays, Saturdays, the 5th of the month and the 9th of the month now carry such a heaviness. It’s like I have lost those days, and I have to brace myself for them each week and month. I spend time looking ahead at my calendar to see if there are things planned on those dates. I wonder what it will be like to leave for an anniversary vacation on September 9 instead of hanging at home with a newborn like we should have been. It’s weird, but strangely normal.
I was never a crier before this. Now I have no way of predicting when my chest will tighten and my eyes will fill with tears. I have no way of predicting what might cause those feelings – a song on the radio, a look of sympathy from a friend, a diaper commercial on TV, or a stroll through Target. Or sometimes nothing at all, and it just happens. It’s weird, but strangely normal.
This past Saturday, which had been a heavy day as I imagined Alexander spending his 7th week in heaven with Jesus, Scott and I decided to go out for dinner – because we still hadn’t been grocery shopping since the beginning of July and had no food, and because neither of us felt like cooking at all. We were sat next to a family with three young kids, one of them a very young infant who screamed and cried through the entire meal. The old me would have been annoyed and then tried to show compassion. The new me ate in silence while tears dripped down my face and then ran, literally, out of the restaurant as soon as the bill was paid so that I could go cry in the car. It’s weird, but strangely normal.
I feel a pressing need to thank people just for doing their job. And not in the normal send a thank you note way, but in the weird I’m going to spend hours looking you up on Facebook so I can send you a message and then have one of our mutual friends (thank God we have them) let you know to check your “hidden inbox” so you actually get the message I sent sort of way. Thank goodness I know good people who come in clutch and that apparently doing things like this are less weird than I might chalk them up to be in my head. It’s weird, but strangely normal.
I have conversations with Scott about seriously considering making plans to meet up with the people I’ve met online, strangers I’ve e-mailed and had blog post and Instagram comment conversations with, because they get this weird life that I’m living. Because they understand that there is no more weird after experiencing this devastating tragedy.