What is normal, anyway?

At the beginning of lockdown, when weddings, holidays, celebrations of all kinds and so many get-togethers, not to mention hospital appointments and even cancer treatments were cancelled at a stroke, the phrase most often heard was, “When things get back to normal, we’ll… all be together/celebrate properly/do this in style/have the party” (delete as appropriate). Where are we now, though, in terms of “normal”?

From speaking recently to some parents of Super brave children with cancer, I’ve heard that some of them have been able to continue with their treatments, which is good to hear; their kind of normal has been unaffected. They’ve stayed at home, as they always did before anyone ever heard of Covid-19. They’ve washed their hands time and time again and sanitised their homes, as they did before any lockdown. They’ve cancelled meet-ups with family, parties, day trips, sleepovers with friends if there was a hint of illness on anyone’s part, or the likelihood of being around crowds of people, something they’ve been obliged to do, since the start of their diagnosis, and nothing to do with this coronavirus pandemic. That has been their normal.

stars and badges

Now perhaps, we understand a little better just how difficult future planning can be to a family dealing with cancer. We’re faced with the same challenges of wanting to plan to do something fun, important, expensive maybe, but being restricted by uncertainty, and to some extent, fear.

Many people are now thinking twice before leaving their homes and when they do, working out how to protect themselves against contracting, or inadvertently helping to spread, infection. This is our current normal. Like those children with cancer and their families, we have a very minor sense of how it might feel to be reluctant to plan very far in advance. We understand the disappointment of having to cancel an event we were looking forward to.

Perhaps what we are all now looking for, in our search for normal, is hope. Just as most of us look forward to the day when we can leave our masks at home, plan a holiday a few months or more in advance, arrange a meal out with friends, make arrangements to surprise someone with a special celebration, we have hope that this will happen. For children and young people with cancer, hope can also be a very powerful tool too. When the journey is challenging, they have to summon up their Super brave powers to hope that things will get better, eventually.

Dr Who and dolphins

Each pair of Supershoes comes laced with hope. When we send out a gift of Supershoes to a poorly child or young person, we also send with those shoes all our love, strength and positive thoughts. We want you to know that we wish you all a normal life, just as soon as possible.

With peace, love and gratitude

Sarah x