Friday, March 25, 2011

Normal Life

I've been thinking about life--my life, of course. Maybe yours, too.

What is "normal" life?
You go about your business: get up in the morning, eat or drink coffee, read the paper or the Internet on your computer, go to work or if you're retired, do whatever it is we do every day. Have lunch with friends, go to church, write, attend critique meetings, read, watch TV, go to bed.
"Normal life?"

When I was a teenager, then newlywed, then mother--life was "normal." Somewhere along the years things changed. Divorce, deaths of friends, family members, husband--"abnormal." Or is it?

My brother's wife has cancer and she is dying. she has been under hospice care for a few weeks now. She's lived longer than expected--but has she really lived since she heard the news? Have any of us lived who love her and are watching her slowly die?

Death stops life in its tracks--not only for the one dying but for everyone who loves that person--from the husband to the children and grandchildren and to us: sister and brother-in-law. Even to cousins and nephews and nieces.

We all will die. We know that our bodies are preparing us for the inevitable by dying a little every day. But none of us is ready. My brother always joked that he wanted to go first so he didn't have to be the one left. But it isn't happening for him and he is glad. He said he wouldn't want his wife to have to go through what he's going through right now. I feel the same way. I've lost a husband to cancer and my present husband lost his first wife that way. One of us will die before the other one. I hope it isn't me. I don't want my husband to have to go through the grief he went through the first time.

I think I can handle it better than he can?
Who am I kidding?
I'm not sure what one of us would do without the other. We're that close.

We are so close that he finishes my sentences and I hate that. But I like it, too.
We are so close that I feel like he's the other half of my brain when I lose a word or forget where I put something.
Wouldn't it be nice if Jesus would just come back before we have to lose any more people in our lives?

All right. I know you've said that before, too. But chances are it won't happen that way.

That's just one of the things I'm thinking about. The other is "normal life."

I bought a smart phone today and have no idea how to work it. Why did I buy it? Do I need it? Is it too late to take it back?

This phone has so many aps that even smart people have problems working some of them.

I think I bought it because I need something "normal" right now.

I'm reading Rob Bell's new book, "Love Wins." Now that's the real "normal life." The book is about Jesus and what He did and what that means to us. It is all about His love. When I read it, my spirit soars. All this other stuff like death and smart phones mean nothing in the presence of Jesus' love.

I wish I had something profound to say right now, but that's it. Normal life is one that has highs and lows and weird events; quietness and questions; death and unfullfilled desires. It's everything we go through from birth to death.

Bottom line--I don't want to live any kind of life without Jesus.


  1. Great post, Barbara. Normal? The older I get, the more sure I am there is no such thing! But like you, I just keep holding on to Jesus because when all else fails, He never ever will.

    I love the new look of your blog! (Or maybe not-so-new? I'm a little behind on EVERYTHING.)

    Praying for you!

  2. Barbara, I too have been thinking just like you. Estella influenced my life in ways I can't verbalize. Jimmie has always been a good friend as has Estella. I will miss her. I feel for Jimmie and the lost-ness he will be feeling and he is feeling now. It is sad, but only God understands why, how and mostly when. He has His plans and we don't know them and often don't understand them. In the same vein as Jimmie stated today, I pray she will let go and slip into God's loving arms. God bless you and keep you safe!

  3. wow...your heart is so open in this post. I just want to send you a ton of hugs. ☺ Losing people we love or watching them fight an illness or even some hard really hard. Me too...really glad I have Him in my corner and in yours so that we have Someone to go through all of this with us...Oh...and love how you and your husband are so close...