The longest journey of any person is the journey inward. –Dag Hammarskjold
I was walking out of the grocery store last week when I found myself scrutinizing the people around me. This tends to be a common activity of mine when I go out by myself in public. It feels like a survival mechanism of sorts to inwardly dissect my life while cross examining it with those outside my story. Since I do not know for certain a stranger’s true life circumstance, there is high probability that my research and assumptions of unfamiliar faces have very little validity. Perceptions can be deceiving, which makes this more a game of diversion than anything else. None the less, I had a particularly interesting concept come to mind while piecing together my partial observations.
I feel like my life stopped abruptly, suddenly, shockingly, and without warning on September 6, 2005. Everything I have become or not become in the past year and a half revolves around that date. But, my awareness of a life jolted doesn’t stop there.
Walking out of the store with bags of food in hand and glancing at
what I perceive to be “normal life” all around me, I realized for the
first time what I was doing. I am waiting for life to return. I am
waiting for life to be handed back to me in the very same way it was
taken. On some random unexpected day, I think it would only be fair to
have someone knock on my door with the same sense of urgency and in one
swift move inform me that they are giving me my life back.
As I reach my car, I look up at the spring scented night sky forcing
itself to change seasons from dreary to inviting. I snap out of my
succession of thoughts and remind myself that within the theme of loss,
the “normal” that once was experienced can never again be copied. To
expect my “old normal” to miraculously reappear is beyond possible.
Once gone, the past has no protocol for duplicating itself. In some
cases, this is good news. In my situation, this is what makes
irreversible loss undeniably painful.
My only hope is to continue reaching for new skies. I suspect any
chance at a “new normal” will be completely the opposite of sudden or
shocking, measuring at a gradual, ongoing, possibly plodding pace.
I begin to drive home with my summary: At
the end of a day, all I am left with is a day. All I own is what I
contribute to that day. In the end, my life legacy will be a
collection of these days. Each one unique and dependent on what I
gave. My sense of normal then is also contained within a day and how I
take the ordinary, typical, natural routines of life and add awe to see