My life - from the impact of great loss, to a refreshing new take on life and a place where I now share ............... my favorite Plant Strong recipes....

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Last Year's "Normal" Thanksgiving
I am amazed at how fast time seems to be flying by - yet the pain still seems slow and steady. I wouldn’t expect it not to, I wouldn’t want it to fly like Time. But still, it seems strange.

People ask us if things are back to normal. I know what they mean, and I know that they are genuine when asking. Yet from our perspective, things are so not normal. We smile, and talk of our “new normal”… but really, what is normal?

Normal: adjective: Conforming with, adhering to, or constituting a norm, standard, pattern, level, or type; typical:
Functioning or occurring in a natural way; lacking observable abnormalities or deficiencies.

I don’t know. Normal would be carrying on with the same routine that I have for the last 13 years raising my girl. Normal would be home school and McDonald’s and giggles and eye rolling. Normal would be finally sitting down and having a Star Wars marathon. Normal would be wondering how long she would want to be hanging out at Lele’s house before finally agreeing to come home. Normal would be loading her ipod with her latest favorite songs. Normal would be telling her to put her shoes away.

Normal wouldn’t hurt so bad.

Normal wouldn’t bring tears at the thought of sending out Christmas family photos without both my girls in them.

Yet if things were still normal, I would be naïve to so many things that have now invaded my life. Childhood cancer. Chemotherapy. Alternative medicines. Oncologists lingo.
Grasping for any minute ounce of good when my world is shattered.
Smiling at a nurse who is does things for my child that I cannot. Slowing down. Appreciating every breath, every hug, every smile, every tear, every word.

Learning to rely on others. To let others come alongside in so many ways.

The fight for life.
The surrender.
To wish it was my life instead of hers.

Suffering. There is none worse than having to watch your baby suffer.

Drawing closer to God - because He is the only one that can bring peace.

I do have peace. It hurts, but we are okay. This has changed us. Has drawn us closer. Has made us more aware of what’s important… and what’s not. There isn’t much that we take for granted.
We are blessed in so many ways.

The pain will ease some, I know. Some may consider my scarred heart even more beautiful. I don’t know about beauty, but I do know that it’s not nearly as fearful as it used to be. I know that I am stronger, that there is more to this life that I haven’t experienced. That Chelsea’s story will continue to impact many… for years to come. That God will somehow use me still.

Nights seem to be the most challenging, but in the morning will come joy. Probably as my lil’ Kati Joy crawls into bed with me - and soon afterwards starts telling me that she wants breakfast. She fills my day and keeps me busy - the greatest blessing so far.

To receive email notification when I post, please email me at with "BLOG NOTIFY" in the subject line. Thanks!


emily said...

Oh Celeste! Your posting brought tears to my eyes. I wish there was something I could do or say to ease the pain, but there's not. I can't tell you how happy I am though to know that you are filled with peace, even though it hurts. I'm so thankful for God, I don't know what in the world I'd do without Him. I love you so very much. Yes indeed, I am sure Kati is bringing so much light and joy into your life. I know she does to mine! Each time I have the blessing to be with her she always touches my heart in a special way. How fitting that her middle name is Joy. She has the gift of bringing so much joy and love into people's lives.
You are in my prayers as you always are. I hope you find joy this Thanksgiving and always, and comfort for your heart in God's arms.
Love, Em
Psalm 61:4 I will abide in Your tabernacle forever;
I will trust in the shelter of Your wings.

Anonymous said...

I love you. You and your beautiful heart. Both are dear to me; always have been and always will be. Perhaps more now than ever. I love you. Jen

Lori said...

I spoke with Robyn shortly after Lexie passed away and she asked me when it got easier. She expected that when people say "it gets easier in time," that meant each day would be easier. But sadly, that couldn't be further from the truth. I think grief gets worse before it gets better and it never goes away completely. Would you agree? I told her that "better" just means that you are adjusting to a new normal. Just like you adjusted to cancer and shots and tests.

The constant ache in your heart.
The darkness of a bedroom unused.
The quiet of an empty house.

These make up the new normal that slowly overtakes the old. I hate new normal. I long for the noise and chaos of my little toddler running about. And yet I'm grateful for the time that we had together and for the lessons that I've learned. And I'm especially grateful to have met kindred sisters such as you.

I pray that our Father would pull you close and wrap His arms around you tightly. He knows what it is like to lose a child. He feels your pain and shares in your comfort.

Krissy Keelan said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

May God’s Blessings upon you and your family be many. Remember to preserve today’s events for tomorrow’s memories.

emily said...

I wish for you, Jeff, and Kati a Thanksgiving filled with love, joy, and comfort. A Thanksgiving in God's arms.
I love you always, Em