My new normal is something that I haven’t quite figured out. After three months I’m still not sure what in hell I’m doing. I go through the motions. I can do it all. I manage to work, got through my first quarter of grad school (4.0 ya’ll - recognize), see friends and family. Live life.
But every day is hard.
Weekends are even more challenging.
Last month I had a birthday (my 40th) and my first major holiday in 17 years that I didn’t get to celebrate those events with my husband, my best friend. Right now I don’t have the words to express how that felt. I can tell you when the reality of it hit me I found myself sobbing uncontrollably in the shower until I ran out of hot water (which for the record, isn’t long at all when you live in an apartment) and then for a while in the freezing cold water because I couldn’t bring myself to get up. Eventually I got up, got ready, and met my husband to drop the girls off. It was all a blur and even while I was doing it I couldn’t believe that that was what my family life had become.
Here I am tonight, two days before Christmas and I am sitting in my apartment alone*. My husband and children are celebrating Christmas with my in-laws. The family that for so many years I’ve celebrated the holidays with is together tonight sharing joy, love and laughter. They are driving around looking at Christmas lights, drinking hot cocoa and watching The Polar Express.
I am here.
Honestly, I have no idea how to process that.
There have been so many times in the last 20 years that I have missed my mom so much that it takes my breath away. Right now, where I am in life has been one of those times. Even at 40 years old sometimes all we want or need is to hear our mother’s tell us “It’s going to be okay.”
Sadly, Momma’s not here to tell me everything will be okay. I am lucky to have an army of family and friends who remind me every day that I am blessed and that I am loved.
So, what will I do? I will take this time be grateful that my daughters have a father who loves them every much. I will be happy for them because they get to spent this special time with family. I will look forward to seeing their beautiful faces tomorrow and hearing all about their visit with daddy, grandma, grandpa, Aunt S, and cousins.
But for now, I will do what I do every day.
Breathe, just breathe.
*Not 100% true. My wonderful dog Madison Jackson McQuire Schultz is here with me.