Will life ever be normal?

Yesterday we had my dad’s service and it was one for the books.  My dad would be humbled by the kind word each of you whispered to us.  We are honored to share the last few days with you, and hope that you will keep us in your prayers as we begin to pick up the pieces and try to return to a normal life.  Although i have a feeling life will never be “normal” again.  There is one less person at our table, one less laughter in the corner, one less hug at Christmas.  Yet I know where my father is today, and his life will be far from normal.  He is praising God in Heaven living a much better life than you or i could ever imagine.
This morning i stopped by the church to see if i could help, and it hit me hard. If you have ever lost someone close you know what “it” is. It is the feeling this is all a bad dream, and that he will be right around the next corner. But it is not. We must move on, holding on to the past. Today my sisters head back to Kentucky and Austin, please pray for their trip. Monday I return to work, but I am not prepared for the heavy road ahead. Yet i know my father prepared me for it. Pray for us as we move on. Will life ever be normal again?

Thank you for your stories and words.  we continue to share them with each other as a way of moving forward in our grief.  Please continue to let us know how our father helped to make your life and our world a better place.

14 responses to Will life ever be normal?

  1. Cathy Kelley

    Entire Presley Family,
    I want to thank you for all you sacrificed by allowing your father, Whale, to share in my life. As I have said in previous comments, I spent 8 years with your father as a student and employee. He always came in and, regardless of how his morning started always had a smile and a “good morning, how are you doing?” for me. I would always respond, “Fine and how are you Mark?” His response would often be “Terrible”. I will miss that about my mornings. As a teacher he was one of a kind. He was always so animated and excited about his lectures. I think that was the most memorable about taking Geology with your dad was the fact that I was also his employee at the time. He definitely took advantage of that fact. Everytime he needed more copies made he would always look at me and smile and say, “Cathy, could you go make some more copies of this?” Of course I said yes and would do it. Then he would make sure I either didn’t miss anything in the lecture or he would catch me up afterward.

    As I look around the office this morning, after the service on Saturday, I see him everywhere I look. They bring back good memories that I will keep with me always.
    Love and Prayers to you all,

  2. Juliet Kauffman

    It’s a “new normal”. In our lives, each welcoming and each letting go force shifts and adjustments. There is always a little good and always a little bad. The good is more difficult than the bad, as you know. It’s a shock when “it” gets ordinary. How can that be? What is right about that? It’s the way of the world. The hope of the future, and the memories of the past.

    You all will be in my thoughts and prayers as I continue my adjustments of things unsaid, connections failed. I trust that the connection is still there, and it’s okay about the things unsaid. I’ve experienced this before. The “too soon”, the confusion of the acceptance. I’ve learned, however, that the missing pieces of that “too soon” are in my connection with God. He understands. Give “it” over. It’s so much easier knowing that God knows the pain. I don’t have to figure it out.

  3. Lynn Gross

    Today as I read your blog, I have to reflect back on the time that my mother left us and joined the group awaiting us in heaven. No, there will never be normal again, but there is a new normal – a twinge in your heart every time there is a family gathering and your loved one is not there, but there is rejoicing in knowing that a life was well-lived and the world was impacted by the love of Christ that was imparted to each of us through our loved one and that they are in heaven wondering what our tears could possibly be about.

    As I watched each of the Presley children, both natural born and those chosen to enter the Presley clan by marriage, I became certain that the words Mark heard were not “well done, my good and faithful servant” but, “perfectly done, my faithful servant that gave all he had to impact the world”. In my opinion, your father gave a great gift to this world by raising, encouraging,and empowering you, his children, to change our world – for you are salt and light in your circle of influence. Continue on and honor your father by doing so.

    I can imagine that Dr. Mark would listen to all of this and watch all that has occurred in his memory and comment something like “Alot of todo about nothing.” His humility was amazing.

    Bless you all as you seek the “new normal”

  4. Brooke Fowler

    Amazing service on Sunday Mark,! Your family and Grant really came together with an amazing display of your Dad’s life. I attended FBC when I was in Junior High and Middle School and Dr. Mark was and continues to be an amazing teacher.
    Please tell you mother that I was very sorry I was not able to see her last Saturday at the reception. She was a mentor to me for during my senior year of school (almost 8 years ago) and remains an amazing friend to both of my parents (Bill and Susan). She’s an amazing woman who is so strong, I knew that even way back then.
    I have not experienced anything close to what you all are going through but I imagine you are in a stage of relearning how to live your life one day at a time… baby steps to normality.
    Congratulations on the birth of your most recent child, what a precious gift for you and Melissa.

  5. While I too miss Mark, I volunteer to walk along life with each of you in the family (and those kinda, sorta in the family, too).

    Perhaps part of ark’s legacy will be your friendship with the many people who surround you; then, of cours, adding additional chapters to the story, the BIG STORY.

    Love to each of you,


    P.S. “Whitney, I called you three times yesterday. What’s the deal?”

  6. rue

    I went over to your sister’s site to see if they were there and then came here.

    In answer to your question….
    Life will never be the same, but it will not be as awful as it has been. It took years for me to get over my grandfather’s death (he was more a father to me than my own), but life goes on. Babies, will be born, teenagers will graduate high school and go to college, Christmas’ will come and go and while all this time passes, you will think of him, but the thoughts will be more like happier memories than sad thoughts. You will always miss him, but the nagging pain will subside.

    God Bless you and your family.

  7. It does take time. But you said it, that he has gone home now and is in a place where he has no sign of any disease.
    Time does heal some of the sadness, but not all of it. The memories heal the sadness, and the tears help you get through.
    Always remember he is with you.
    Holiday’s are for celebration and those will be the hardest. Just put a plate out for your dad during that time and be thankful for the time you have now.

    God bless.

  8. God Bless you & your family. I do know the feeling you are describing. It has been four years since my Mom passed. When I visit home I still expect that she will come around the corner. There are really no words of comfort especially when you are numb and tired and wishing it was all a bad dream – just hang on to each other and the memory of your Dad. Those memories will get you through.

  9. hello sweet presley family,

    i wanted to let you know what an honor it was to attend your dad’s memorial service on saturday. how fantastic to see the legacy your father left you, refracted 5 different ways.
    i’m not sure how to aptly put into words the events of the past couple of weeks, but i wrote a little post on my blog so that that my bible study group(who have been lifting you up in prayer) could catch a glimpse of your story thru my eyes. please know that y’all continue to be in my prayers.
    ps–i was haley’s roomie in college and we considered your bro to be our 5th roommate:) they are such precious friends of ours!

  10. Jeff Field

    During our drive back to Tucson, I reflected on Mark’s service and the short time I spent with you all. I was touched that you took an interest in our affairs and wanted to catch up a bit about my family. That reminded me of how Mark would have acted. The drive was also time well spent being one on one with my Stephen and talking about the events of Saturday. He has fond memories of Mark.

    You all are a cherished part of our life. We will keep you in our prayers.

    With love and blessings,

  11. Jana Meyer


    How generous you have been to share your thoughts and feelings about your dad’s passing! I wish I had really known your dad. I can tell you from experience that life will never be the “normal” you knew. In time, there will be a “new normal”, and you adjust gradually. The important thing is to be patient with yourself and your other family members as everyone learns how to adjust to this new reality.

    Hang on to your faith and remind yourself often that your dad made a real difference in this world.

    Wishing you and your family peace,

    Jana Meyer
    Eastfield College

  12. I’m here from Kari and Kijsa’s site and have stopped by a few times to see how you are all doing during these difficult days. No, nothing will be normal as you knew it again. But you will one day realize that you have found a ‘new normal’. Someone will always be missing and you will often think he’s coming through the door or around the corner. A bit over five years later I sometimes think he’s walking up to my front door. Someone said ‘You haven’t lost your loved one if you know where they are!’ You didn’t lose your dad – you know where he is. And he’s waiting for you to meet him there. Thank you for sharing the road you and your family are travelling. It means much to know how to pray for each of you.
    Until we meet in Heaven above,

  13. DeAnna Willman

    To the Presley Family,
    I never met you or your dad, but I have heard about both from some mutual friends. Your blog is so very uplifting and encouraging, especially coming from some who are walking through a dark valley at this point in time. I just wanted to thank you for the blessing that your words and stories are to me and to others. Life never “returns” to normal. I know. I lost my granddad two years ago to cancer. He was a pillar of wisdom and encouragement in my life from the very beginning. I still miss him. I still find myself thinking about family gatherings, and for just a moment, I find myself looking forward to visiting with Granddad again. Then, reality returns and I remember that he will not be there. There are still days that I cry and miss him terribly. Then, there are the days that I have not thought about him. I don’t know which is harder.
    We do have a wonderful time ahead of us when the Messiah returns and the dead in Him rise. Can you just imagine the “family” reunion that will take place that day?!
    Keep sharing your hearts and your stories. They bless those around you. THank you for blessing me. You are lifted in my prayers.

  14. Anna Ingram- Wallace

    Presley Family,

    I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. I remember growing up with Stephen as you all lived on Waddill Street My Dad (Larry Ingram) passed away June 17th to a sudden stroke. He collapsed in the presence of my brother, son and mom. I am sure you all will find strength through the kind words you hear and memories you have of your Dad. I am sure the Lord needed men like our Dad’s to prepare his kingdom for our homecoming. Your family is in our prayers and we rejoice that your Dad has recieved the greatest reward Eternal Life in the Kingdom of Heaven.

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