finding a new normal --

i've just logged back on to my blog, and read the last post - it was written and posted 3 days before my world changed, forever.

those of you who know me, or have been following this blog know that my mom had a rough 6 months.  mom died on october 18th.

the past month has been such a blur of emotions and challenges.

paul and i were with mom when she died - but we were all gathered as a family at the house that morning, before we took her to the hospice care unit.  it's a funny thing -- you never wish for your mom to die (ok, maybe when you were 14 and said stupid things), but those are exactly the thoughts i had in my head the last few hours.  when i walked into the house that morning -- i had gotten a run down of the night before from my sister, and i knew it was difficult -- but none of us really knew what the day would hold -- i was immediately faced with what was left of my mother.  she was sitting in her chair right inside the front door - unresponsive, but seemingly looking right at me.  the nurse came a bit later and told us she was "actively dying".  from that point on - it's a blur, but i also remember every detail.    when paul and i arrived at the hospice unit later that afternoon, i walked in and was faced with even more of my mom slipping away.  it had gotten worse, we didn't know how much time was left, but my silent prayer was for Him to take her.  i couldn't bear to watch it any longer.  she was never coming back - it was time for all of our suffering to be over.

people probably thought we were crazy during her viewing and the funeral - looking back at it now.  we were laughing, and joking and comforting those who came to comfort us.  but this is how i see it -- we had 6 months of "bonus" time with mom.  when she went into the hospital in april she was unresponsive 3 times, on a ventilator twice, and "bagged" once.  we had all had "the talk", and knew what her wishes were, and we knew what we were facing.  we knew she wouldn't get better, we just had no idea how much time we had.  we had started the grieving process months ago, this wasn't a surprise to us.  were we glad she was gone - no, but yes at the same time.  it was really getting ugly toward the end, and no one should have to live that way.

looking back at my last blog entry - isn't it ironic now. 

now what?  we are all trying to find a new normal.  i'm having a hard time.  i took on the responsibility of a caregiver for a good 15 years with mom -- doctor appointments, hospital visits, shopping, nervous phone calls.  i spent almost every day of the last 6 months with her - back and forth to the hospital (an hour away) each day, or over to her house.  i wouldn't change one bit of it - i have no regrets, or "i should have"s.  but picking up and finding my new normal has been tough.

what do i have left -- who am i now?  i thought when i got laid off last december i would have that figured out by now - i had no idea what the year would hold.  now -- i'm back to square one.  we are identified by what we do. so, who am i?  no job, no one to take care of.

don't get me wrong -- i am not sitting around feeling sorry for myself, crying and sobbing.  i know that my mother is in a better place -- the disease was really taking it's toll on her - it is better her suffering is over, and in turn ours too.  a friend of mine put it best -- we were watching her slip away in pieces.

but -- now i need to figure out who i am, what i want, and how to get there.

not a day goes by that i don't think about her - things pop up all of the time that spark a memory.  but, day by day the hurt will go away, and it will get a little easier -- so i've been told, so i hope.

until then -- i have work to do -- re-inventing myself.  stay tuned . . .