In Bible Study last Thursday evening, we were all talking about 'new normals' You know, when something unexpected or unwanted happens in your life, and you have to learn to live with a 'new normal'.
The first 'new normal' I could remember happening in my life was the summer I was 13. I had lived in the same house pretty much my whole life, but my family was getting ready to move. I didn't want to. We were only moving 20 minutes up the road, but to me, it might as well have been 2,000 miles. I was having to face my first 'new normal'
Little did I know, though, that the new house we were moving to was across the road from the house where my future husband was living! I often look back now and say that if my family hadn't moved, well....Joel Curtis may have never even noticed Jaime Skidmore....and the rest is history.
I kind of feel like the 'Jaime' of our first house is a totally different 'Jaime' than the girl who grew up across from Joel's family, went to college, got married, had babies.......it's like I'm a totally different person now.
I hadn't driven past our old house for years....maybe since before I was married, I can't remember. So, after our discussion last Thursday evening, when I found out we were going to be down that way today, I asked Joel if he'd mind leaving a few minutes early and driving past. I had to look twice to make sure it was the same house! The huuuuge pine tree that used to be smack dab in the middle of the yard was gone. The siding was light beige instead of white, and the shutters were green, not black. The clothes line was gone, and there was a new little railing around the front porch. But it looked very nice, and, yes....it was my old house. The old house was still there, and a flood of memories came rushing back. I pulled out my camera and snapped a picture.
And there you have it. The house I grew up in. Or, rather, the house I lived in when I was a little girl, before I grew up :)
My mama pulled my first tooth here. It was here that we brought my baby brother and sister home from the hospital. It was here that I sat at the piano on summer evenings, playing my little lessons with the front door open. It was here that I learned to ride a bike. It was here that we brought our puppy home---my faithful, wild Precious puppy, who remained with our family for another nine years. It was here that our family was all together, healthy and happy, with no idea that Mom would be gone a mere 14 years after moving from that house.
The new house that we moved into....growing up......getting married.......those are all 'new normals' that I got used to. They were happy 'new normals'. But this losing my Mama.....it is a 'new normal' I will never get used to. For the rest of my life, I will look back on my first 28 years as 'the way things were supposed to be, when they were right'. Life goes on.....good things are happening.....but they're happening without my Mama.
Leanna has her first birthday in a week.....our first 'first birthday' without Mom. A new normal. It's yucky, and it stinks, and I will feel her absence at Leanna's party like a hole in my heart.
I miss my Mom every day.......but I am a Mama now, to four beautiful children.......and everyday we are building up our own set of memories. I only pray that I can be as good a Mom as my own Mama was.