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Steps Toward the Ordinary

One step at a time.
It's been a slow process for all of us.
Last night, I made dinner, kids and dog underfoot as usual. For those of you that have been following the saga, you know that for the last ten months, we've been eating mostly in my bed, the dining room table one of those places where Dave's absence is felt so keenly, we simply couldn't manage it.
So last night, as we fill our plates, Kate pulls out a placemat and sits down at the table. And I think, "Is she going to eat there all by herself?"
And Zach fills his plate, looks at his sister, and walks over to the table. He thinks for a moment, and then says, "Mom, I think we should sit here. Sit here together and talk, like we used to."
Can I do this? Can we do this?
So I sit across from Kate.
Kenny hovers in the kitchen. Wandering a little. Back and forth between refrigerator and sink. Hesitant, unsure, looking at us out of the corner of his eye.
Zach says, "Come on, Kenny."
So Kenny does. He brings his plate and sits next to me.
We don't hold hands and pray like we used's too "Dave," but we bow our heads and quietly give thanks to God for all that we do have.
Kate talks about Peach Basket. Zach talks about Eragon and Eldest and how tired he is. Kenny talks about football camp and the team award he received.
It's a quiet, solemn occasion.
It's a step forward. A tentative step, but a step, none-the-less.
A step we take together.
It's not the merry chaos that the Meyer table used to be. We're feeling out how to be together like we used to be, when nothing is like it used to be, including us.
For a minute, we are a whole family, just the four of us, just as we are.
It's wonderful.
And it's awful.
We're healing, but it hurts to have to.
Later, folding clothes together, Zach holds up a funny tube of black, ruffled material. "What in the world is this??" "A skirt!" Kate says indignantly. "Nope, it's a turban." On his head. "Nope, a scarf." Around his neck. He's dancing and wiggling his hips and I look up...all three of my children are laughing.
Real laughter, real smiles.
Sometimes moving away from the pain is harder than living with it.


  1. Ah Michelle, as the Meyers take steps towards the ordinary, we take steps, no, leaps, away from it...both such difficult moves along this bt journey...each wanting the ordinary so very much, yet oh so far away. Someday my friend, may it be ordinary again, someday..for both of us, for all of us. Ordinary would be oh so good.

  2. Michelle how beautifully written. Like it use to be . . . Never like it use to be but maybe a new way. I think it is the hardest thing to do -- start to repeat things and knowing there is this "missing piece." I have thought about this alot as I prepare in a couple weeks to return for the second time to Arizona to visit and the absence of my dad is so real while I am there yet this time I will return with Morgan. Morgan has not been there since Grandpa died. It is good to see my mom and family but "my dad" is missing and I feel that so much more in his home with his ashes on the table. Now I journey back to that place with his "Special Girl" in hand. How will she be, how will it make her feel? It sucks we have to go on and try to make ordinary again but I am not sure there is ordinary.

  3. Carol & Dennis Bond6/29/2006 6:56 PM

    We are so very proud of all four of you. Your journey continues with the strength that you were born with and the example set by Dave. Know our hearts are with you as we love you and hurt with you. Much pride and love - Mom & Dad (Bond) - Grandma & Grandpa

  4. Oh, my dear Chelle, you do tell the truth: "...nothing is like it used to be, including us. [But] for a minute, we are a whole family, just the four of us, just as we are."

    Dee said to me the other day that I had begun to laugh again -- that she had never heard me laugh out loud until just a week or so ago. And I have still not been able to sing -- the notes just stick in my throat. Rob told me that he hated that his illness had robbed me of the song that was always part of my life.

    But today my sister BJ and I sang to Holly, my two-year-old granddaughter. We sang "Pop Goes the Weasel" as she popped in and out of the box that had held her new car seat. And we laughed.

    We will never stop missing Rob and wishing he were here to share the moments that need his presence to feel complete. But there is still joy in our little grandkids and happiness in being together.

    Following your example, and that of your wise children, we just have to learn a new definition of "enough."

  5. There are moments, some of them long and filled with laughter, but the sense of what was lost is never far away...

    And that is grief.

    Healing prayers for the Meyer family.


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