mama the general & onejillian almay photo

Talking Again

Hi mama. In 32 months, I transitioned from updating you here, to updating you in person and on the phone. I was approaching a regular phone call schedule. After pushing myself from text to voice, I started craving text again. Another site update, and another Welcome Back post, and the momentum was rolling. But that all stopped in October, 2015.

Rip The Band-Aid Already, Jillian.

It’s over 1.5 yeas now, since the world stopped making sense. After a decade of finding my place in adulthood, my role in our family, a plan for the next decade finally settling into place…

After all that time, thinking this time, THIS TIME, I’m walking on firm ground…

The world tipped over and reset.


I was reminded that fall, that no matter who you are, okay is not a phase that lasts too long in life. You know, mama, for a bit of time in 2015, things were actually fully all the way Okay.

Obviously we can’t go back to the first half of 2015 and pick up where we left off. It’s not a matter of picking up the world and putting everything back in place.

As The Sergeant says, we have to learn The New Normal.

Look Up. Look at People.

So I suppose what I’m saying is, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to build a picture of The New Normal in my mind. Filling that big sister-sized space with…I don’t know. Other people are great, but they can’t even add up to a surrogate of Her. Not in part, not as a sum of parts, not individually…

See, she did so many things other people can’t do. Nobody is her. There is no other Her.

Breathe, Touch, Talk

Even though life was going on, life was on a standstill. That was, until that December when the decision to be around lots of people all the time was made for me.

Physical injury made it necessary for me to constantly seek the help of other people and that has put a lot of grace back into my manner. See that? She’s with me all the time. Grace is her middle name and it’s guided me to extend way more appreciation, patience and general courtesy to people – a precious resource I thought had been long since exhausted.

Before that happened, I was in the process of falling back into old habits of completely withdrawing inward, emerging only when absolutely no other option is available, and taking it out on everyone.

Mama, Things Are Not Okay

So that’s how things are right now, mama. Not okay. But not the worst.

Before, I had a vision of telling you about all the little ways I recognized you were learning how to Adult, while raising me and my sister. This blog was going to be the little constant reassurance you need to check in and say, “welcome to adulthood” for every little thing – another little way for you to relive your past and sigh a little chuckle of relief that that moment was so far in your past and smirk to yourself, “you have no idea what’s coming for you.

Now, it’s a place to talk about things that only you and I share. It’s where we will find The New Normal.


What’s it look like? I don’t know, but mama, that’s okay.