My grandmother, Irene, died when she was only 53. I always had a sense that my life would also end when I was 53. This happened. My husband, Norm, made his transition the day I turned 54. He was 53.
We were married almost 28 years. My youngest son, my mad scientist Sam, had just graduated high school. My other three kids, Isabella, Grace, and Michael, were also college students (and still are at this moment).
Norm did well enough to provide us a comfortable life. For once, we had begun planning our future and not just going with the frantic flow. I continued teaching middle school math classes while raising four active kids. As they grew older and their activities wound down, Norm and I began to enjoy our time together and with other couples. We agreed that I would be retiring from teaching in a year and I'd either work with him or following my many passions--writing, painting, or any creative endeavor that struck me in the moment. We were going to travel, spend more time up north, dance and dine our later unencumbered years to the max.
God and the universe had alternate plans. Norm had a massive heart attack while working in Brooklyn. My and my kids' world was decimated. Norm was our comic relief, our provider, our rock. Without my best friend, I'd have to provide for my large family. But my flaky airy nature was not conducive to organizing the large volume of tedious tasks required to keep two homes afloat. Norm had always taken care of all that. My main financial responsibilities consisted of feeding and clothing the family, chauffeuring and gift giving. Norm absorbed all the other expenses and tasks. I despised the concepts of "insurance" and "taxes".
So life changed and I changed. I had no choice but to learn the way around financial aid, probate, estate, and refinancing. In between melt downs in public places. I had to put my big girl pants on and redesign a life for me and the kids. I didn't have time to self-medicate and shut down. Often I sure wanted to and it may have served us temporarily. I instead chose alternative paths and medicines to lift me off the floor. Writing, mind massaging meditations, shamanic healing and bonding with a new world of helping human and ethereal spirits guided me to envision a new exciting future for myself.
I still mourn and miss my husband's loud colorful strong essence every day. However, the loss of his physical presence has provided me with immeasurable gifts-gifts of travel, new tribes of friends, abilities, and passions I never knew I had. It's only been a year and a half but it's been a wild ride with my "New Norm". I love you, honey. Thank you.