Saturday, July 30, 2011

Finding "Normal"

It's been a while since I posted...not because I have nothing to say...but because I have too much.

Finding our new "normal" has been such a strange and numbing experience. While on one hand I love the time with my two boys...in fact, more than I've ever had, I also find the lack of "work" to be, for lack of a better word, boring. It's embarrassing to admit that I am not making the most of the time that I have with Ty and Jayden. I feel guilty for that. But I also know that adjusting to this new life, my new skin...doesn't feel comfortable.

In fact, the "normal" life that I had been wishing for, is now here and the grass is not as green as I had expected. In fact, it's not fulfilling in the same way at all. While I don't have the added stress, anxiety and even work of three kids and one with special needs, I also don't have those tremendous joys that life used to offer me. The life that I had sought after for over 3 years, is now the life I am living and it is not at all the life I was meant to live. I miss the life that I was given...the depth that my life had. While I love my family more than words, I can't describe the mourning that I feel for the loss of not only my Zackie, but for the richness he brought me every day. Jayden and Ty are fun, creative, loving and wonderful, but they don't look at me the way that their sweet little brother did. While I worry about their paths in life, feel concerns for the upcoming new year at school, I don't feel the same emotions that I used to feel everyday with Zack. Sometimes it would be concern or even fear and other days, it might have been pride beyond any explanation...whatever it was, it was so much more than the everyday motions of life. It was a way of living and feeling with my heart on my sleeve, living each moment as it came and feeling everything life had to offer.

I can sleep a full night these days, even lay in bed while the kids read or watch T.V. in the morning. I can tweet, read, even lay in the sun while my boys are independant and show me that they need me less and less with each passing minute.

My heart aches for those days of late night GTube feeds, filling medical syringes, opening our doors to women who meant so much to me, packing up supplies for a simple trip to the grocery store and even just the quietness of just Zack and I. While the house is now less busy, it seems louder and I find that I need to find those moments of quiet where I can just get in tune with how I feel. Now the emotions that I once had on my sleeve have been tucked deep within my pocket. Only if I have time or energy do I actually explore what lies beneath. It is often in my morning visits with Zack at his grave, when I really enjoy that quietness that allows me to feel...feel deeply as I once did with him.

17 comments:

JackiYo said...

Beautiful Heather.

Kath said...

So beautifully said Heather! Big hugs.. Glad you are blogging again, its good for your heart and soul.. miss you xo

@jen_yo said...

You are an inspiration. Such a wonderful, and honest post, as the ladies already said, beautiful.

BLOOM - Parenting Kids With Disabilities said...

Heather -- this made me sit up and think! Really THINK about how we get caught up in wishing our lives were different -- "normal" -- not realizing that perhaps it is the very different path our special-needs kids are on that makes life so rich.

I am going to link to this in the next couple of days from BLOOM. Let me know if I can post a photo of you and Zack.

I just posted a piece on BLOOM that I think will resonate with you -- it's called:
The absence of normal 'frees us'
http://bloom-parentingkidswithdisabilities.blogspot.com/2011/07/absence-of-normal-frees-us.html

And i think speaks to what you were writing about here.

Thank you for sharing this very poignant and illuminating journey that you are on. Warm hugs to you! xo

TJZMommy said...

Thank you for reading Jacki, Katha and Jen.
I guess I have learned that "normal" is totally overrated...once you have lived "abnormally". Still adjusting I guess....

Thanks Louise...I'm happy to have you share this post and I'll ready what you sent...xoxo

Sharon said...

Heather, what you wrote is so heartfelt and elegant. Your words brought tears to my eyes. xo

Heather said...

Beautiful.

Lisa said...

You know that I read your blog faithfully and everything you write resonates with me both as a mother and as the parent of a special child. Leaving a comment is always so difficult because as you said, it's not that I don't have anything to say, I have too much to say. So I'll just say this; You are an amazing person and mother. Love you.

wratwrds said...

Oh Heather. You are amazing, in your emotional generosity and emotional honesty.
I understand what you're saying. I'm not sure what normal is or whether I'd know it or know how to deal with it.
Your writing is a gift. Wishing you comfort and sending you hugs.

@writewrds

Erica said...

Heather, there may never be a 'normal', at least not the 'normal' you imagined, but just allowing yourself to feel the joy in the little things will go a long way to helping you heal. Thank you for granting us a little window into your soul.

BLOOM - Parenting Kids With Disabilities said...

HI -- I just encouraged our readers to read your piece. Thank you for sharing it! xo

http://bloom-parentingkidswithdisabilities.blogspot.com/2011/08/is-normal-overrated.html

Anna said...

Skipped over from Bloom and wanted to leave a comment. I dont have words for your loss...... how hard it must be..... just too big to find words for it...... I am glad you are able to blog about it a bit. Blogging has been good to help me adjust to my new normal as well. Grief is a hard process. Let yourself do it, and do it well.... if you dont it will break you. We dont want that.

Elizabeth said...

I, too, am here from Bloom and so appreciate your honesty and thoughtfulness. I can't imagine that you won't feel this way for a very, very long time -- your life and the life of your other children has been enriched, augmented in ways that are beyond words, I think, by the life of your Zack. One of my dearest friends lost her child with disabilities a few months ago and she has said much the same thing to me as you've written so beautifully.

I am so sorry for your profound loss.

Trine said...

Oh Heather, I have tears reading your post. I am so sorry for your loss... and no, the grass is not always greener...
I am writing a book, I would love you to contribute if you felt strong enough... please check out my blog http://alittlelessalone.blogspot.com/ and let me know if you would be willing to share your story.
Thankyou for your time, and I hope with time.. your days are brighter and your other little cherubs laughter helps to keep you smiling xxx Trine

sarah said...

Heather
This is what I need to read today.... I have a son with special needs who is turning 4 and my days recently has been filled with wishing things were "different" and if only he had been a typical child my life would be so much better and I feel sad quite often. I always think that life would be so much better but you've made me think twice about this and whether in fact I may be happier in other ways.....

TJZMommy said...

Thank you Sarah for letting me know that you needed this blog post to remind you about the beauty of your son and how rich (and difficult) your life is because of him. I miss that so much.
I can't thank Louise enough for allowing this post to be linked from BLOOM. I love to reach out to the special needs community, a place I always felt at home and a place that will forever be in my heart, as Zack's mom.

Sarah said...

Heather,
Although this is the first time I have commented - you have helped me immensely throughout your blog. This journey I have with my son has been quite difficult and you have made this easier for me....Thank you......