You've heard the phrase. This is now your new normal. It's thrown around like rice at the end of a wedding. Please adjust and live your life as a New Normal. The New Normal. Yep, just move ahead with the New Normal. It always sounds like it's capitalized doesn't it? THE NEW NORMAL. Like its turning a page in a book and starting a new chapter, and you just keep on going. The stuff you've read already, well, I suppose in the New Normal, you're supposed to just take it in as part of the story. Like, yeah, that happened, but what happens next? The problem is, you just don't even give a damn anymore. At least its ****ing hard to. Things are totally upside down and inside out. Your brain and body just do not work the same. You see, the first part of the book just sucked at the end. The first chapters were good, great even at times. No huge, insurmountable problems surrounding our hero. And then, all of a sudden, a storm blew into town. A god damn F-5, Category 5, blinding snowfucking storm. And simply tore the place apart. and now....Nothing is where it should be. No one is the same. Its all covered up. And the hardest part is that you are not the same either. You're thinking different. You see things different. You feel different. You simply are different. And how do you tell that to someone. How can you make them understand that its you. I don't know if things used to be black and white and now its all gray; or if it was all gray and now its black and white. Somehow, it might be clearer. Sharper. But other times you are just enveloped by fog. Things are just changed. Nothing you wanted, of course.....just everything you've ever feared in your wildest scariest nightmares all rolled up into one and then topped off by even more nightmarish things you could never even imagine or knew existed....and it surrounds you.....and, there's no use in asking why, it just turned out that way.

You look at Old Normal (there must be an Old Normal right?). It's everywhere. Except it looks different. You see guys cutting the lawn and think, why? Mom's yelling at their kids or worried about something at a store. Why? Of course you know, or at least you have a vague memory. But still. Why. And you see kids. You shake your head. Not understanding. Honest...sometimes you are mad at them. Sounds horrible huh? Other times you might even crack a smile at how damn cute they are. You look at your stuff, the things around you, and think, so. You look at some things and say what am I gonna do with this? It was gonna be his.

So now you try to move forward. In your New Normal. Sometimes you are immobilized, or just do something dumb, it happens. And it's not good. At all. So you keep trying. Remembering to move forward. While never forgetting the past.

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Comment by Mikki R. Boyer on June 9, 2009 at 1:36pm
This story of the New Normal is what I wish I could have tattooed on our mailbox...the old world still thinks you are living within it's timeframes and due dates... and that you can actually make plans. We are into our 5th month and I cannot even promise a playdate for my healthy 5 year old son within the next hour...each 10 min we are accomidating cancer...
as the Life Coach here at Seattle Children's says "STUPID CANCER!" Or as I like to relate it to my adult friends, I feel we are in the "eye of the storm!" and there is no forecast ahead except what we imagine for Sydney. Thanks for sharing, Sydney's MOM, Mikki~
Comment by Brandi Kessler on April 29, 2009 at 1:41pm
There is at least one moment daily that I look at my son and daughter and cry for what I have that so many of you have lost. I can not say I understand but I can say that because of these children, and their families, I appreciate my "normal" more and more and take nothing for granted. When I have those moments my son says, "Dum vivimus, vivamus. That is what Gunner would want." Thoughts and prayers are with you always.
Comment by Sheryl on April 28, 2009 at 12:54am
When Brett died my old life died with him. It has been over a year. My whole family is not the same. Brett's twin brother and his younger brother have changed so much. Brett like myself would not even know this family. Brent and Tyler have not even brought up Brett's name. Brent walks around quiet and a chip on his shoulder. Tyler who was so popular in all sports and great at them all has withdrawn. He was known for his very outgoing personality. It is no longer there. I still cry for my son everyday. I don't want to do another day of this new normal, but I don't have a choice. I told a friend yesterday as I was crying my eyes out talking about Brett, who he was, EVERYTHING he and so many of our kids had to endure. I told her please, I am not saying this to get pity. "This is not about me. It's about Brett." He is the one that had to go through it all. The pain, sickness, fear and so much that I will never know. Brett was so courageous he never wanted to see me hurt. My son was here. He wanted to live so bad. My friend convinced me that yes this horrible monster stole my son but it has left a family that will never be the same. Never! The spring weather is bringing new life, more children on the street. All it is bringing me is pain, memories, and what could have been. What should have been! This new normal sucks.
Sheryl (Brett's mom 4ever)
Comment by Samuel Linnell on April 26, 2009 at 9:47am
I am always at a loss for words from the pain I feel in your messages.. My heart breaks for your family. Cancer is a suck fest--- Sam is 15 now and you make me realize it is good he is so pissed off at the world.. Wouldn't he be he often says he would trade his life for his 4 yr. old roommate that died.. We are warriors in this forever bonded by our partnership in this new world.. thank you for sharing.
Team Linnell
Comment by Diego's Mom on April 23, 2009 at 12:38am
Thank you for this.
Comment by Jim Perry on April 19, 2009 at 7:49pm
new normal sucks, its like living in a fog, you arnt sure where your going, or even where your at. things that use to matter , dont any more. Differant, definately...some say its differant in a better way, but i dont agree, i would trade the new normal for the old one any day.
Comment by dari mcmanus on April 15, 2009 at 1:07pm
i know i will never really get what its like for the parents. all i know is they are gonna have tp bury me with my fist in the air. i dont care what it will take. i will never stop.
im so sorry your heart hurts.
you guys are my heroes as well...
Comment by Sara Beiswanger on April 15, 2009 at 1:01pm
That pretty much sums up the last seven months of my life. I hate the "new normal" I want the old back. I want to go back to complaining about my job like it's the biggest problem in my life. I lost my sister to leukemia when she was 16. She was sick for 8 years and my son was sick for 10 months. I feel like I've lived the "new normal" most of my life. I don't want it anymore. It's not fair that my Adam and so many children have been taken away from us. I HATE CANCER!!! It keeps taking my family.

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