Saturday, November 7, 2009

New "normal"

My grandmother had a stroke on Wednesday. She is a fiercely independent woman. Strong is an understatement. She is competitive, even at 82. One of the first questions I asked the doctor was whether she could play Scrabble again, and his answer provoked a smile from my grandmother.

While we don't know yet how permanent the effects of the stroke will be, I am sure that life for her will now be measured in pre- and post-.

In so many of life's events, I see the trauma of the fire mirrored. It isn't the fire or the stroke or cancer or... It's the trauma. Life before. Life after. What WAS normal. What IS normal.

It's a reminder that we are constantly changing, life is always in flux. It is a reminder to be flexible, to stay on your toes, to adjust, to be WILLING to adjust.

As I watch my grandmother fight, I know this isn't how she would want to be. And I am reminded that in those days after the fire (in that YEAR after the fire), it wasn't where I wanted to be either. I wanted to will myself back to before just as I am sure she wants to will herself back as well.

I'm also reminded though that our choice isn't in the circumstances that befall us. Our choices are in the responses to those changes. Will we fight? Will we adjust? Will we accept our new normal? And in accepting that new normal, will we recognize the beauty, the opportunity, the peace that lies therein?

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