For the past 18 months I have often wondered what “normal” means. What does that even look like? After losing Sophia, our life as a family of 4 has seemed to be anything but normal. Though I’m not sure what normal really means for us, there are a few things about it that I do know.
It’s not normal to suddenly lose a baby that was growing perfectly fine for 26 weeks.
It is not normal to give birth to a dead baby. I know that sounds harsh, but the truth hurts, deeply.
It’s not normal to bury your baby before you even got to see her take a breath or feed her or see her smile.
It’s not normal for an 8-year-old boy to lower his baby sister’s casket into the ground.
It’s not normal to want to just crawl back into bed at any moment of the day and pretend none of it really happened.
It’s not normal to have more children in heaven than here with us.
It’s not normal for a 7-year-old girl to talk about and to her sister-angel every single day.
It’s not normal to lay awake in the night for hours on end feeling like your heart is literally being ripped apart because of how much you miss that baby you never really got to know.
But for some reason, all of that has become a part of our life. I don’t know if it’s normal or not. It just is what it is.
As we begin this new year, we are determined to discover what “normal” means for us.
We are deliberately taking commitments off of our calendar and become intentional about saying “no” to anything that is not really necessary and helpful for our family. Mark and I are both involved in several different ministries at our church. All are wonderful and meaningful things of course, but they are also things that take us away from home and our family way more often than we feel is good right now.
Since we had Sophia, we have had one big distraction after another, from helping with church retreats to getting chickens to letting friends live in our basement. Those things and all of the other big and small changes have mostly all been good things. But too many good things can also have a way of becoming a bad thing. All of those things have taken a toll on each of us and have successfully kept us distracted enough that we have no idea what our new “normal” really is.
It is time to find out.
This year we are stepping back and slowing down. We are looking forward to spending more time together, just the 4 of us, having fun and laughing. We are looking forward to enjoying more time with our parents and grandparents while we are still lucky enough to have time with them. We are looking forward to making much-needed time for weekly date nights after the kids go to bed. We are looking forward to just being present in the moments.
We are looking forward to making “normal” what we want it to be.
So if you don’t find me here very much this year, you can be sure that we are doing just that. I do love to write and would like to find more time to do that too, but for now I’ll be snuggling my family and making memories.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence rely not. In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes, fear the LORD and turn away from evil; This will mean health for your flesh and vigor for your bones.”
Proverbs 3: 5-8