Remember this Peanuts character? His name is Pig Pen and he was very easy to pick out from the Peanuts crowd, because he always had his cloud of dust that followed him. I'm feeling very much like Pig Pen this weekend; however, the cloud that is following me is not a cloud of dust; my cloud is a cloud of sadness.
Sadness is a funny thing (not ha! ha! funny--strange funny). It comes upon a person like an autumn fog creeping over the foothills of the Blue Mountains. At first one may think one's eyes are playing tricks on them. What is that thing coming over the hill? Is it smoke? No, it is fog, creeping slowly into the valley, bringing with it a chill that is hard to escape. My sadness is much like that. It starts as something small--something someone says about Andrew. Next thing I know, that is all I can think about. Then I start remembering our life as a family and I realize a cloud of sadness has joined my new life.
We had another first yesterday--a Cougar football Saturday. It was a good game to watch and yes, even a win for the Cougs. However, I felt my companion with me--my cloud of sadness. Even among all that Crimson and Gray, my companion of sadness ruined my day. Usually, being around that many people in my favorite colors always brings me joy. Not now. Not as long as my cloud of sadness was with me.
Back to Pig Pen. He never complained about his life. Who knows why that cloud of dust followed his every move? What was his life like away from the Peanuts kids? Whatever it was like, he didn't complain about it. I am not complaining about my life--okay, so I am-- but just this once. However, I guess I just want people to understand what life is like for me at present. My cousin told me that in her job, when a major event passes they call their new status the "new normal." So what is my "new normal"?
During this weekend I have discovered what my "new normal" is. It is a life without my son. When I go to school events, Andrew won't be there. When we make plans, we don't have to check Andrew's calendar. So my real discovery about what my new normal is includes my cloud. One minute I am ready to go to a social event and then next minute my cloud stops me. How can I be around people who are so happy when I am so sad?
So, I want everyone to treat me just like the Peanuts kids treated Pig Pen. He was their friend, dust cloud and all, and even though his dust took the curl out of one girl's hair, he was still their friend. Still be my friend. I don't want anyone to feel uncomfortable about talking to me about Andrew. I want to talk to you about him. Let's remember the goofy things he did. Let's remember the sweet things he did. Let's remember the irritating things he did. Let's laugh about him. Let's cry about him. Let's remember him.