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Old Cowbelle: Life's Changes

Life is funny. Everything is normal (as normal as it can be). The days come and the days go by, pleasant and predictable; some more pleasant than others, some quiet, but never boring.

Then something shifts, and the "normal" becomes erratic. Like losing a family member. Your world tilts and you scramble to make it "right" again, but it never will be. At a Grief Seminar for the Hospice program some years ago, I learned a phrase that I had actually been "living" with ever since Husband died.

The Pastor who presented the seminar referred to the eventual outcome of grief as "a new normal." I have identified with that term really well. The only thing about it is....I just get accustomed to a "new normal" and along comes another "earth-tilting" event, making it necessary to adapt to yet another "new normal."

Losing Husband was the hardest to cope with; and a year later, losing Mom and my last brother Harvey, another adjustment. It has been 18 and 19 years since then, and my new normal has been ok most of the time. Until the loss of Greg.

It's like beginning all over again. I am so glad (as are others) that Greg shared a lot of time on the telephone with family members and friends; and I had a chance to let him know daily what a special person he was.

He was! And I still look for his number on my ID when the telephone rings.

* * * * *

Way back before cell phones came on the scene, things could get a bit hectic!

I am thinking about a long ago June 19, the day daughter Sandy was born.

Being first-time parents, we had no clue that it would be hours and hours before this little miracle could make an appearance. At the first "twinge," Husband hurried through the cow chores, called my Mom to let her know that "this is the day" and off we went to Menomonie. Things were going slowly, and I didn't want to check in to the hospital just YET.

So we drove around town, killing time, and finally found a little park where we sat at a picnic table and played cards. (How come I had a deck of cards in my purse I will never know.)

In the meantime, Mom called brother Harvey and they raced off to the hospital, only to learn that I wasn't there. They did some telephone calls from pay phones and learned nothing. They were in a panic, while we were calmly sitting in the sun, killing more time.

I guess they finally went back home, and Harvey went back to work, and they all returned in the evening and stayed and got a look at the new baby, Mom and Dad's first grandchild. Wayne stayed until he had to go home and do chores. Little Sandy still didn't arrive until 11 p.m. When Wayne returned to the hospital, he wasn't able to even see the new little daughter until the next day. The hospital regulations back then were not very compatible for the family members. Husbands were not even allowed in the labor room and especially not in the delivery room.

I'm glad those rules have changed. (Not that I need to worry about that any more!)