Do they? Really?
I would counter…
Recently, a friend has made me think. I know, watch out…a random ramble is sure to be forthcoming…lol;)
ok, seriously though…what is normal? Do any of us really want to be, normal?
Anyway, what inspired me to this, is a friends birthday post…about their life, what they have done, been through, etc. Hasn’t been an easy life. But is life supposed to be easy? Kind of like, should we want to be normal?
I would say, no. The most interesting people, I have ever met, are quirky odd people. People that inspire me due to their strengths.
In part, my own parents. They were/are good people. They did not have easy lives.
My father came from a littered bit of a broken home. His own father, well, he never really knew(though they met a few times); he had no love loss for him. This man was more than a bit flawed, and for sure did my grandmother wrong. Following that, a step father, who was more than a bit challenging to their family.
His mother, my grandmother…well she is my hero. She still lives…has seen both my father and her step son pass. Has persevered through 2 earlier marriages, that while they gave her 2 beautiful boys, and a step son, were no joyride. 2 husbands that anyone would have rather not dealt with what she had to battle through. All through that, she worked, she owned her own business, she put bread on the table, and so much more. She finally met my grandfather(the only one I ever knew), my dads step dad, who she has been married to, just shy of 50 years. They have had a wonderful life. But grams, lived through the depression and a couple loser husbands before all that. She triumphed over the first few hands she was dealt before she got her winning hand. She is strong, she is brave, she is more than I could ever hope to be. These were just a few of her challenges…there were many many more. But she is one of those people, that show me that there is no quit in life. I am sure she always dreampt of a white picket fence life. But that is not what life gave her. But it is not matter, you figure it out, and you make it work.
My dad saw how his mother made it through life, and it shaped what he wanted out of life, I think. He wanted a solid home, a family that was valued above all else. He worked and lived for us. We always went on family, non extravagent, vacations, we always ate at the dinner table together, we watched tv together; he pushed both my sister and I constantly to do well in school and follow our potential through to a college education. He was proud of us. He was critical, sure, but it was always with love. I think in someways, he wanted what was “normal”. But quite honestly, what we had was so much more. I value that. Not everyone got what we did growing up. I still miss him; but what he gave to us, I will forever be grateful and cherish. He taught me love and commitment. Strength and loyalty. And he taught me, yes, just a bit…about being a smart ass;)
My mother…her story is I think, so fun, interesting, heart wrenching and inspiring. She grew up in an imperfect family. My grandfather(RIP) was no saint(though some would argue). My grandmother(RIP), who grew up more than a bit spoiled, raised a family under conditions and settings and events, I don’t think she ever imagined would transpire. On her passing, we read some of the love letters her and my grandfather exchanged in the early days of their courtship. It was so strange reading the prologue to their lifes story. The hearts and flowers and romance of it all. Well, like we all know, life does not end with folks going off into the the sunset, living happily after all. Life is full of both glory and agony. There was much of that in their story. Some truly horrible things, that are too personal to share. But, aside from that…there were times my family worked in the fields, lost their house, were hungry, were left wondering, why? But my mothers mother, this grandmother, was also one of my heros in life, she still is even as she has passed. She triumped over an imperfect husband of more than 50 years, raised 5 children and several foster children in sometimes exceedingly challenging circumstances…she lived to see many many great grandchildren–though she always wanted more more more(sorry grams!). She suffered, she loved, she was there for so many of our family when they needed her most; I can only wish we had all been there for her a bit more.
I think her choices and her life, always guided my mother. My mother who grew up, and I swear partied more than I ever did, through her 20’s…lived a fun life following her youth. Who was unafraid. Who also then, had to conquer additional health challenges(in her youth, in her 20’s, and ever since a varied slew of challenges physically). Mom was always extremely strong in her beliefs. I think it is in part a result of her being the middle child. She was an observer. She knew what she wanted and what she did not. Always has been that way. Her and dad often clashed as I think they had such strong fundamental personalities. But it is also what kept them together. Their shared value on family. Their love of us, and of each other.
They are my example. They were not normal. I see normal every day. The were extraordinary in many many ways, even as they were imperfect.
I struggle constantly with where I am in life. I often find I am nowhere. What the hell am I doing. Sometimes I think I am far too normal. I go to work, I don’t do anything crazy, I just am. I hate drama. But sometimes life needs a little drama.
I am one of those people, perhaps that has had it easy. I never did drugs, rebellion, casual sex, etc etc… Not because I am necessarily above any of it, it was simply never a choice I had to make. Never got offered any of it! Never…seriously. LOL.
I think when I have done some crazy things in recent times, it has been with maturity, and my eyes wide open. I know who I am. I am not reckless, but I hope, I am not normal either. My path is still uncertain. I hope to find where I am going. Who I am will be who I am, when life takes me there.
In the end, people, I believe in Carpe Diem…sieze the day, live your life, it’s the only one you got. I am going to live mine. Hopefully, I don’t fall asleep along the way…if I do, please…wake me up!!