I think this was the one.
Tonight, Jimmy and I were looking through our honeymoon photos. This was after he mentioned seeing someone on TV at Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans having cafe au lait and beignets, ya know, with the Super Bowl there and all.
We did that. It was familiar. A memory. A happy time.
I started looking at photos from then and went over by him so we could reminisce together.
Usually I'm the one who gets emotionally triggered by old photos, memories and stories. That wasn't the case tonight.
Jimmy was fine looking at pictures until this one (above) came up.
He said he looked so normal and care free. He admitted it made him sad and he got a little upset. He said he didn't feel normal anymore.
Cue: heart being ripped out.
I'm happy he talked with me about it because I feel like that's something he could easily clam up with.
I thought about telling him what everyone tells me... it's a new normal. I'm not sure if that's comforting though. We could say it all we want and it sure does sound good, but Jimmy and I know.
We both know what normal means for us and we ain't got it anymore. I think dealing with that and adjusting to the realization is where we are now.
Sometimes we burrow our way through this new life. Pushing so hard through each day -- we're just trying to do it.
It can be jarring to be confronted with an image from the past when you have your mind set so hard looking ahead to the future. You feel you're okay. And then? Ton. Of. Bricks.
You never know when it's all going to come flooding back and when those gates will open.
I've been there, my darling James. I know it allllll too well.
I often get haunted by the ghosts of our past. It may sound awful to think of a happier, more carefree time as haunting. But it's as honest as I can be.
Memories can hurt. Still.
I saw that with Jimmy tonight. He was feeling pain. Luckily, I was having a strong moment. (It's not days... it's moments.)
I was able to be strong this time and tell him how he's still the same to me, and that's why I'm still here doing this thang.
I acknowledged that he has more challenges and has limited mobility, but he's still him. If everyone in the world closed their eyes they wouldn't know any different.
Hearing him say he doesn't feel normal breaks my heart. That's a tough one to swallow, my dears.
But I gave it my best shot, kissed him a bunch and sent him off to his room so his caretakers could get him settled before his season finale of Moonshiners came on.
He sure was happy about that.
Happy is Jimmy.
Happy is normal.