The thing about life is that your "normal" is always changing. Just when you think you've got things figured out, BLAM! Suddenly what you thought you knew goes out the window and you're scrambling to figure out what your new normal is and how to live there.
When I look around, my life has remained relatively steady (comparatively speaking). I've lived in the same valley for 47 years. I've worked at the same place for 35 years. I've had my closest friend for 32 years. It goes on and on. Most of the significant factors that make up my life are unchanging. I've had three "major" relationships (and a few not-so major relationships) but even my being single feels unchanging and consistent.
Then my mom dies, everything changes, and I haven't been able to find my new normal since.
It all hit me like a ton of bricks on Thanksgiving when I realized that I wouldn't be hauling my ass over the mountains to get turkey take-out from Denny's so I could have dinner with her this year.
Or any year ever again.
I had plenty of places to go for Thanksgiving, but decided to stay at home this time and let that sink in.
Except it didn't, and I was no closer to normal than I had been for the past five months. Apparently sixteen years of prioritizing my mom in my life doesn't leave quickly. Nor should it, I suppose. Howard once told me that a breakup takes twice as long as the relationship to get over. Technically, my relationship with my mom has been 52-years long, so I guess I'll finally be back to finding normal when I'm 104.
Something to look forward to.