Moving on with our "New Normal"

It's been a couple of weeks since my last update, and for that I apologize. It's not because there has been nothing to share, but because I've been particularly busy trying to move on with our new normal. It's amazing to look back and think about how much our lives have changed, and in such a short amount of time. Sometimes I still find it difficult to grasp the concept of what has truly happened to us. Has it really only been 6 weeks? It seems like so much longer; almost a lifetime ago. Yet, at the same time, it feels like the blink of an eye. I feel as if I continuously bounce back and forth between two lives: our life with Sharon, and our life without her. Just when I start to get in to a type of groove, and feel some-what used to my new normal, something happens that throws me back to the ground and assails me with all the reminders of what I've lost. That happens more times than I'd like to admit, and at the most unexpected of times. Such as searching through Sharon's kitchen to borrow cooking supplies, or shopping for office supplies at Staples. Such small, meaningless acts that remind me of the woman that I've lost, and that I'm now forced to do these things without her.

There have also been a few major events in our lives over these past couple of weeks where her absence was prominently felt. The first event was Sharon's birthday. It's unbelievable to think about how the date June 12th will never be the same. We will never be able to celebrate it with the same sense of joy and heartfelt abandon as we have in the past. Now, and forever, it will be a bittersweet day. A day that holds many cheerful memories, but also sorrow. For Sharon's birthday, we decided that we wanted to have dinner at one of her favorite restaurants. I was very happy that most of our family made it to that dinner. I even found a coupon that we were able to use on the dinner, which made me smile because I felt as if it was an honor to Sharon, the discount queen. We felt happy moments, yet sad moments at that dinner. It was also difficult because memories of past events celebrated at that restaurant kept running through our minds. While we strive to celebrate these holidays and events with a measure of joy, there is still sorrow that clings to the day, keeping the moment from being truly happy. I feel as if it will be a while before we can celebrate life with true joy in our hearts again.

The other event we celebrated recently was Father's Day. We made a point of spending the day with Dutch, and he was very pleased to have all of his children there to celebrate the day with him. It was a day filled with happiness, and that ever-present sorrow.

Overall, we are still doing as well as can be expected. I am still utterly impressed by Dutch and Wes, and the remarkable way they have both been dealing with this tragedy. It truly is inspiring. I've been so blessed to be a part of this family, and feel as if I've grown as a person, a Christian, and a family member over these past several weeks. I've been very awed by God amidst this storm we've been facing. Even with this horrendous tragedy, we've seen amazing blessings and comforts in our lives that can only be offered by Him. Our faith has been tested in ways that we never could have imagined, and we've discovered a lot about ourselves, and our relationships with God.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name's sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:1-4)

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

We still have a long way to go with our healing process, but God's presence in our lives makes it so much easier to bear. Without the Lord, we could never manage to get through this. I'm so grateful for His presence, His comfort and His guidance. When I feel overwhelmed with my new tasks and emotions, I know that I can give my burdens to Him, and that everything will be okay because He is here for me. He provides me with such a deep sense of comfort, that I could not survive without it. I am utterly blessed.

Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23:6)

Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the Lord your God. (1 Chronicles 22:19a)