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Ordinary Days

Years ago, I read a lovely novel, The Magic of Ordinary Days , by Ann Howard Creel. Back then, I truly did appreciate the magic of ordinary days. I did. I greeted each day with purpose and a very long to-do list. I fixed breakfast for my family, packed school lunches, awakened grumpy children, went to the school bus stop, folded laundry, emptied the dishwasher, walked the dog, shopped for groceries, made PTA calls, scheduled doctor appointments, showed up for my volunteer shift in the library. Then, I greeted the school bus (or waited for the front door to open), and dealt with the chaos of after-school snacks, music lessons, sports practices, homework, family dinner, baths, and bedtime stories. I was so grateful to be a full-time mom. Even navigating the challenges, the bumps in the road, the injuries and illnesses, the disappointments with school….it all felt so purposeful, so significant. It was magical.

So, now that I have no choice but to take on the mantle of bereaved parent, is it worse because once life held such promise, such hope… I know that I can no longer bear to look often at Facebook; the accounts on the wall of ordinary days bring me to my knees. I loved ordinary. It makes me so sad that my ordinariness has vanished.

The challenge now is how to be on the planet when I don’t want to be here. I am on the planet; I get out of bed, I function on some level. But I don’t want to. It’s the wanting to be here piece that I have lost. So, I keep reading the books and seeing the counselor and going to TCF conferences and working to stay in relationships with people I care about and trying not to lose hope that maybe, one day, I’ll want to be here.

Peggi Johnson

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Comments (2)

  • How sad for you and your family. Such a terrible loss. I held my 16 year old son when he died. We were hit by a drunk driver, left with physical and emotional injuries. The physical heals, the emotional is a constant reminder. It would have been so easy for me to “check out” but I had 3 other sons and a husband. I’m glad to still “be on the planet” as otherwise, I would have missed 10 grandchildren and 81/2 great-grands. It’s been 36 years, the tears are never far away but life is good.

  • Hi, I too lost my son, Peter, 16 n a 1/2 to suicide at home w/all of us at home. This is so real, although it’s been 17 years it seems like yesterday. Just put one foot in front of other everyday, my compassionate friend leader always told me. It never gets easier, just slightly bearable. Take care

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