Life is weird now. We spent three years on constant alert, our adrenaline in overdrive. Every second of every day we listened for Carmen’s breathing, to make sure she wasn’t choking. We got pretty good at it. In fact, I bet most people who came over thought we were really relaxed about everything. And we were. But, we still kept our alert hats on at all times.

I asked Dave yesterday, “What do people do in normal life?” Work, take care of kids, pay bills, cook, clean, errands, vacations, hobbies like hanging out in fishing boats, etc. I get all that but it seems so calm. (I know…laugh. There is nothing calm about life.)

Besides the obvious, that Carmen isn’t here anymore, it seems that something else is missing. I think the something else is the chronic stress of taking care of a terminally ill child.

But, it’s more than that.

Taking care of a terminally diseased child made us feel alive. We were in the midst of something life-changing. Something that made us feel. We had purpose.

I think we both feel a bit lost right now. What is next for us?

***

Dave is home for a month. He took FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) time to get us back on track. We’ve started exercising again. We are cleaning out our house (again…seems that is never-ending!). We are working on projects. We are pursuing our hobbies. We are spending time together as a couple and with the girls. We are praying about what’s next.

Speaking of hobbies, we are working on learning more about photography. Last weekend, Lauren went to her best friend’s birthday party. I took along the camera, hoping to practice. The lighting conditions weren’t optimal: fluorescent lighting in a ballet studio. I ended up going back and forth between 1600 and 3200 ISO (which makes for very grainy pictures). Because I knew the lighting was going to be a problem, I tried to focus on composition. What did I want to say in these pictures?

Here are a few that I like.

That’s me in the corner taking the picture. I discovered that I make a strange grimace when taking a picture. Got to work on that!

I took close-ups of each of the little girls. Here’s what my little ballerina did in every shot.

Usually Lauren says, “Don’t put that on the blog!” about anything she doesn’t like. She thought this picture was GREAT. I think so too. It’s true-to-life! 🙂