Crumbled Papertowel

My new weekend normal: quiet house, resting pups, time with my heavenly Dad, laundry, some dusting and thinking…. . This will not always be the case and I know that to be true.

Until December 2015, nearly every Saturday morning for the last nearly 11 years, Archie would work. It was a rarity if he did not. His Mondays through Fridays were a consistant 5:45am and be lucky if he got off at 4 pm, those were good days. When Taylor started college, afternoons, evenings and Saturday mornings were….quiet and lonely.

I hated going home to an empty, quiet house, much like it is now. I started going to The Depot, a Mennonite thrift store, and sit, as if at a library, look at books and listen to their music. One day I had an epiphany: this place is run on volunteers, so why not get up, and stop wallowing in pathetic, unnecessary loneliness. I was sitting in a building that direly needed my help, duh. I started volunteering, sorting, steaming, or pricing donated clothes.

Someday, when my wounds are more healed, The Depot is still there. My heavenly Dad knew what I would need and made sure it would be like “going home” when my loneliness would be permanent. Again, I am grateful.

This brings me to the crumbled paper towel: Eating is still on the fly at our house and most nights Taylor and I “piece” odds and ends left in the fridg because a full meal just doesn’t sound appetizing. We microwave..whatever..and use paper towels as splatter guards. The paper towels follow us as we move to the warm room to munch and relax while watching a detective dvd, Matlock or Perry Mason are favorites. The object’s use is modified to napkin for covering clothing, and the cleansing of fingers and mouth.

When the “meal” is complete, the crumbled paper towel gets thrown away. Odd, if you think about it. Who thinks of a paper towel as valuable? It’s paper, disposable, and not of high monetary value. This item is used daily. It’s applicable for protection(spills, splatters, cleansing), saving time (clean up and dirty dishes), increases safety as bacteria from meat is immediately thrown away verses growing on dish rags. If we run out we instantly miss them, but yet we take them for granted and don’t think of them as important and ever ending.

How many other things in our lives do we view as paper towels? They are always going to be there. We need them, but once we’ve gotten our use out of them, we crumble and throw them away. There will always be more.

Can you guess where I’m going with this? I had to live with my beloved for the last month of his life, hearing his perspective of the last year from a rear view mirror. When you are in the amount of pain he was, cannot drive, shower, or dress yourself suddenly you realize TIME has been your paper towel. You use it as a convenience, assuming there will always be more, not valuing what is in your hand….or home, at the moment.

Oh, the regrets. Things were tough and (coming clean here) we had gone back to our accountability person, yep, marriage counselor, back in October. Life sucked, but we would never give up on our love story. No matter how much I would remind him he was loved and forgiven, he carried such a burden of not being able to forgive himself. He kept saying things were going to be different “when this is over”. We never made it to the other side of “this”.

What is the crumbled paper towel in your life? Take another look at it. What is the REAL value? Do you honestly want to throw it away? Please think before you do. You may have unknowingly grabbed the last piece.

 

Author: Tracy Cook

Widowed one week before our 27th wedding anniversary, Heavenly Dad continues to carry me, now blessing me with a second chance for love.

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