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A New Normal

2014-11-04 21.07.36

It’s 12:30 a.m. and my guests have just left.  I’m standing in front of the window, at the kitchen sink, doing dishes and thinking:  “This is NOT my job!  It’s yours, Mick MacIsaac!!  I’m the official cook and table setter and YOU’RE the dishwasher and otherwise helper of all things entertaining…  Why am I doing YOUR job?”  But no, this is no longer my normal.  Just as I’m thinking that I really could ask the boys to do the dishes, to share in the entertaining duties, my eldest, Iain, comes into the kitchen and says:  “Hey Mom, I’ll do the dishes.”  My heart warms and I tell him that no thanks, I appreciate the offer but I’ll take care of it.  He can go back to playing his computer game with his brother because hearing them laugh and tease each other makes me even happier than having them do the dishes!

Besides, as I am doing said dishes, I am sort of meditating, composing this post and just thinking random thoughts.  This was my first official dinner party since Mick’s passing ~ it was only fitting that it be with one of Mick’s oldest and dearest friends, Andre, and his wife, Tammy.  I admit to having some trepidation at having them over on my own as, no matter how much they love me (and I know they do), I cannot help thinking this is Mick’s friend, not mine, and they are coming here because they feel obligated to and there will be discomfort.  I am very happy to say there was none of that.  Yes, we did reminisce about Mick, which is kind of normal considering this was our first time seeing each other since his funeral.  We were even joined by the neighbours Robert & Julie for a bottle of wine (or two) before dinner as they also wanted to connect with A & T and share some moments.  (I tried inviting them to stay for dinner but they declined….)

Preparing this dinner, setting the table, buying the wine ~ all these normal activities ~ brought a sadness and wistfulness at first.  We used to share in these duties.  I may have even gotten misty-eyed a couple of times during the day.  But then, as the time of their arrival got nearer, I felt a sense of Yes, I am happy to share my table with friends, to break bread (if I had remembered to buy some) with them, toast the man who brought us into each others’ lives and laugh at our various adventures we had had with him.  In his honour, I made all of his favourites:  Carrot-bacon soup (though Andre thought I was making his favourite!), penne à la Gigi, salad in frico cheese bowls and finally, key lime pie…  It was a simple way of having Mick be with us (besides hanging around in his bottle of Coke on the mantel!)

We felt close to each other, set a date for our next get-together (oh dear… my annual “drink-shooters-with-the-boys-for-Andre’s-birthday-night”), hugged tightly and promised to not lose touch with each other.  I’m feeling optimistic!

I think I am slowly finding my new normal…

 

 

36 thoughts on “A New Normal

  1. Of course I’m liking the fact you do the dishes while thinking…or think while doing etc. Some of my best thoughts have been hatched while watching the skin on my hands prune-up and knees buckle from standing in front of the sink too long. So…what were some of those “best thoughts”?….hell if I know. Like water down the drain, through the city sewer lines, cleaned, scoured and re-claimed, to the river and on to the sea. It’s all relative. It’s all about making it our own and…getting through the pile of dishes on the sink. Will email today. xxoxoxRX3

    • Isn’t that the truth? Makes you wonder why so many people hate doing the dishes by hand so much. It’s a golden opportunity (especially when the pile is huge, which it was!) to let your thoughts roam at will. No one to interrupt you… now I’m thinking of a movie (can’t for the life of me remember which) where the daughter watches her parents wash dishes side-by-side while swaying to the music… that’s kinda cool too, on a whole ‘nother level. Looking forward to your missive! xoDxo

  2. You felt a sense of Yes! My sense is that is such a good descriptor for your spirit and commitment to life and living. The wine, your sons laughing, your cooking and to reminisce — it’s all good and it’s you! Here’s to your gradual resumption and appreciation of more Yes!

  3. I was going to type “Take your time” and saw that Anarette got there first…
    By the way, being banal, do you have “correct” order when washing up? My Grannie always insisted that we started with drinking glasse, then went on to other glassware and so on……. I still do it that way…. of course it’s not “right”.

    • Ahh David… I will take my time!
      Absolutely! ALWAYS start with the drinking glasses, other glassware, plates, cutlery and finish with the nasty pots and pans… only way to do it! 😉

  4. Dale, thank you for sharing your moment-to-moment experience. The way you started with the dishwashing and worked back to the beginning was powerful. Thank you for sharing your new normal(s) with us because, for all of us, each moment is the opportunity for a new normal. While it’s not the one you would ever wish for, your ability to share it with others really opens our eyes to what is possible if we just pause. XO.

    • Thanks Tammy! You are absolutely right; each moment is the opportunity for a new normal. We just have to be open to the possibilities. I am so happy when you stop by! xoxo

  5. Dale – I come by way of Raye (she of Portland, not UK which I hope I don’t confuse again!!). I’ve scrolled through and read with great sympathy your journey in December, your loss of your beloved mate and your first steps in ‘new normal’. You are to be commended for such lovely, honest, heart-felt postings in this difficult time. I think we always feel childlike and vulnerable, yet very much alive, in these first tenuous steps on a path we neither asked for nor expected. You seem to be approaching yours with optimism and openness. I wish you well. Sammy

    • Hey there Sammy! That was funny the whole Portland/England thing ~ I enjoyed reading it! Thank you for your comment (and the follow!) I am definitely an optimist (while being a realist) and cannot hide my true self. It will force its way forth no matter what and I have to admit it is a part of me that I truly like. It was truly cathartic to put it out there and the love I received from around the world, well, that just was the best! Thanks for the wishes… now excuse me, I have to go stalk YOU now… 😉

      • I have ‘befriended’ 3 bloggers in Portland (who don’t know each other) and a whole fistful in the UK as well as a couple favs in Canada and Australia. I can’t keep track of myself, let alone them 😋

        • Ha ha! Me too! I’ve got 3 Portland friends and more in Texas and other states, a handful in Ireland, a couple in Australia and even one in South Africa! I hear you on the having trouble keeping up! Part of the fun, though.

  6. I am sure he was there–and smiling. Both at your moving forward and at the fact that he no longer has to do the dishes:). I am moved by your bravery. It’s this daily stuff that takes a courage most don’t think about it when you’ve lost someone. Sending you good thoughts & a multitude of prayers.

    • 🙂 You may be right on that one ~ no more dishes for him. Yes, the daily stuff, the little things, the routine that just knocks you over. I thank you…

  7. It’s great that your son asked! Meanwhile, the fact that you’ve entertained so soon made me smile. I would imagine many of the ups & downs are unexpected …. simply coming out of nowhere … let alone the expected hurdles you have to clear … but so far, so good. 🙂

  8. Dale, I love hearing your heart. What a joy to have your son ask to help with dishes. That is just so sweet. I so enjoy when I hear the kids laughing together too! I try hard not to interrupt those moments.

  9. Dale, thanks for following my blog. This return visit has inspired me with your strength and courage.

    You’re on a hard journey. You probably know the words of the traditional Gaelic blessing:
    May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face…

    Geoff

    • Thanks for the return follow, Geoff! And for the kind words.

      I am familiar with this Gaelic blessing and this is the first time it’s been directed to me! I thank you for that!

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