Today marks the day of the memorial celebrations for the life of Debra (Debbie, mum) Jones. I miss her. And I miss being with friends and family at the celebrations in Portland.
I wrote down my thoughts and prayers for Andrew and of you Elizabeth, Sam, Abigail, Hannah and TJ and Jenna on this day.
I am thinking about you all a lot – feeling very close in my heart. But cannot be there in person – mostly because after a two month break my shipbuilder has returned three days ago and he needs my instructions as to how to continue build this ship into a haven for people – what it already is, but we try to make it nicer for those who are not so much into „camping style“.
But mostly because my brother, sister in law and my dad are coming to visit in a few days. My dad is getting old and fragile. And lives far away and finds travelling hard. So coming with my brother might be one of the last times – maybe even the last time – that he can come and visit. Knowing how fragile life is – and how soon it can end – I simply felt I wanted to spend these precious days with him – although I so much would have liked to be with you at this special time. I wanted to honor him and this rare time with him – although it means missing the time with you.
I feel very sad about it. And would have loved to be with you at this time of memorial, thankfulness, grieving, but most of all transition.
Thinking about this day I kept having two words in my heart. “Old normal” and “new normal”.
Today marks the day of the shift between the OLD NORMAL and the NEW NORMAL…
The old normal was that Debbie / mum was somehow there in THIS physical world with you and us.
At times she was there very close in person and in heart – cooking, warming, sharing, listening, working on something, touching with her words or hands.
At other times she was away – in her own world of thoughts or geographically far away – in a distant place.
But – no matter if she was close or more far away – the old normal was that she was there in this world of ours. And there was a knowledge of her presence here and a knowledge of more meeting, sharing, interaction and growth.
Today marks the letting go of the “old normal”.
The old way how life used to be – with Debbie being present somewhere in our physical world has passed. And won´t return. It is my prayer that you will find the grace to find acceptance – acceptance not meaning that you like it or think it is good. That would be crazy. It is violent, harsh, brutal to loose a wife, mother, friend, comrade.
But acceptance in the sense of not fighting against reality, but being able to say „Yes – it is what it is. This is what it is like now!“
And then walking into the NEW NORMAL.
The picture of the new normal I see in front of my heart is like waves at the sea shore. There are high waves to surf on – memoriest hat lift you up, moments, thoughts, treasures that you remember and that give you strength. Or that might even make you giggle and laugh.
But then there will also be the valleys – where you feel the pain and the sadness intensely – where even the beauty of the waves of memories can crush you into a valley of despair…
Most likely the waves will be less intense over the years as new memories with other people the father brings into your lives to strengthen, bless, inspire and honor and care get woven into that carpet we call life. And in all of our lives Debbie has woven her unique threats… most of all in the life of you, Andrew and of you Elizabeth, Sam, Abigail, Hannah and TJ and Jenna…but also in the lives of all of us… for some weird reason the memory of sitting with Debbie in a tent at Freakstock and smoking water pipe (first time ever in my life…) comes flooding back to me.
I pray that you find peace in the NEW NORMAL… that starts tomorrow.
Peace and joy in the hilarious, joyful and beautiful memories… and comfort in the valleys… and most of all that you know that there is future and a hope as there is a loving, caring father God who will continue to walk with you – He is the ETERNAL NORMAL….