As we head into the last few weeks of August you get that sense of changing seasons.
Whether it’s the CHRISTMAS DISPLAYS AT COSTCO, back-to-school stuff everywhere, or those amazing August evenings that magically cool to just the right outside temperature at about 9pm when the sun sets and gets ready for the next show just a few hours away…you get the feeling that change is in the air!
As I wrote yesterday, I like to take some time to look forward, but also like to reflect on where we’ve been.
On occasion I go through some old blog posts. It’s an amazing way to see the journey and progress that’s been made. The days and weeks have ups and downs, but I think if we see things over time the general flow of the chart is in a slow but progressive move in a positive direction!
Ingrid and I were at Deception Pass today spending time with the Ethanator, his sister Emily and their wonderful parents Selena and Frank (Ingrid’s brother).
I know I’ve said this about other places, but the 2-hour drive south of Vancouver on the 1-5 and then west towards Anacortes and then to Whidbey Island and Deception Pass is worth every minute. If you get a chance go. Better yet, make yourself a chance…and then go!
The State Park there is incredible and many Canadians and Americans spend some great time camping or simply enjoying the fresh water lake and the ocean on the other side of the sand spit.
We’ve spent a bunch of time down there over the years most notably with Max and Chris.
I’ve loaded a picture up of Chris getting repairs after slipping off a log during a fort building exercise on the beach when he was a young buck. Nurse Ingrid is administering the first aid.
Today we were in that exact spot. Sitting on that exact beach. Kids had built a fort with the exact bunch of logs that have been there for years if not decades. Ethan showed me the fort and we built a sand castle together and then just watched the waves and tide do their thing all afternoon eventually washing our sand castle into the ocean leaving us with great memories and the possibility of building new sand castles tomorrow when the tide goes out again.
It was old normal meets new normal. The ‘deception’ is (besides the tie to Deception Pass and my ongoing need to fuel my insatiable pun appetite) is that the New Normal may look easy. It might look easy but of course it isn’t.
While we were on the beach I received a message via Blackberry about a comment on the Blog. Please read it in the comment section below. It’s from someone I don’t know, but Karen has been sharing this journey and been on her own journey for 10 years since her husband passed away. As both Karen and ourselves have experienced, the new normal isn’t easy and sometimes I don’t like it much as I’ve indicated several times in this blog!
That being said, I’m more convinced than ever that the new normal is what I want to continue to strive for, knowing that it may look deceptively simple at times but isn’t, and will continue to be a series of decisions on a daily basis for 10 years and more!
I usually make a shake for breakfast at least 3-4 times per week. Chris loved them as well. He wrote the recipe down last year and called them ‘Randy’s Jacked Shakes’….of course he did! (recipe: 1-2 frozen bananas, 1 cup strawberries (frozen or fresh), 1-2 cups orange juice, 1 cup yogurt, 1 scoop protein powder (you can get at Costco), all measurements are adjusted to taste and consistency)
Anyways, as I was making the shakes one morning this week I realized what I was making them with. Remember all that food at the funeral? Well, through the assistance of amazing friends and family about 3 big bags of strawberries were sliced and frozen. That’s what we were having for breakfast this week. I thought again of all the generosity and amazing support.
Tonight I was busy downstairs and Ingrid came down about 6pm and said a relative (name protected!) had dropped off some hot borscht. If you’ve never had borscht, you better get friendly with some Mennonites (Toews, Friesen, Harder, Thiessen, Funk, Klassen etc etc) and have a bowl. It is a vegetable based soup that absolutely hit the spot tonight. Not only with the food aspect but another humble reminder of how many people have cared and are continuing to care for us.
We get through each day and are looking to the future, but any moment and many moments we have thoughts of our amazing, loving, wonderful son Chris who we will all see again one day.
Until then, we’ll have a shake, eat some borscht and keep helping each other one decision at a time.
People constantly ask us how we are doing. If the situation was reversed, we would do the same. It’s part of being human. My first answer was, “we’re doing ok…a day at a time”. I changed that to, “an hour at a time”. I then came to the realization that neither a week, day, hour or minute at a time was really what was happening.
Time by itself was curing nothing. It certainly helps to dull the ache maybe a little (or not), but just time by itself was not working. What is helping, however, is the amazing power to make decisions. I’ve changed my answer and so has Ingrid and Max too. Ask us how we’re doing. We’ll probably tell you, “We’re moving forward, one DECISION at a time”. The cool thing about a decision is that you control it. It is exceptionally empowering. We’ve made decisions about how we would work as a family unit, how we would help others (via ChristianFriesen.com) and how we would help each other through the passing of Chris and the unknown that lies ahead.
Thanks for standing with us. How are we doing? We’ll get there…one decision at a time!