The Good, Bad, and Ugly

Hmpf…The good, the bad, and the ugly. Lots of ugly today. All me. All out of grief.

Yard work: Weeds–LOVE pulling them! Instant gratification, check! Mowing grass: horrible headache, stuffy head and sinuses, basic misery. I’m allergic to cut grass.

Archie loved cutting the grass. He had to mow in different directions each week so the grass would stand up. He found it relaxing–until last year.

Last year Archie worked a lot of hours and when he got home it was either too late to mow (at least 4 hrs) or he was too exhausted. Then on Saturday, after work, he had to choose between doing anything with the family….or mow grass. Let’s just say the kayaks never made it out of the shed. But NEXT YEAR things were going to be completely different, he promised. I asked if he could hire someone to alleviate the pressure he was putting on himself, but in his eyes that was wasting money as he “enjoyed” doing it. He refused to let me because of my allergy. Taylor and I finally asked if we could just put the house on the market for one with a smaller yard so he he could have more time. He loved this house. The answer was a definite no.

Then when things finally slowed down and the gutters needed cleaned out as they always do in the fall, he thought he had  thrown out his back (of course, now we know it was cancer). Ever since we got the metal roof Arch wouldn’t let me climb up and clean them from the top, so he said since he had cleaned them out in spring, it would be ok until spring arrived again.

Guess what it is and what’s growing in the gutters? Sigh… .

So, Archie isn’t here so what he doesn’t know can’t hurt him. Just for the record, metal roofs are slippery and if your other half isn’t holding the ladder when you slide off, the ladder kicks. Who knew? Oh, well. Picking up the ladder and moving it twelve thousand times around the house because the person cleaning out the gutters is vertically challenged and has a miniscule wingspan, it is.

Tomorrow the yard. At least God graced me today by having the guy who rolled our yard two years ago (and I went to his house and asked him to please come back because our yard was completely taken over by mole hills) showed up and rolled the mountain range, otherwise known the lawn. I am sooooo grateful.

As I was climbing the ladder for the 82ish time, my mind kept going back to the promises made last year. I love Archie dearly. This was not what he had in mind for me this year, all by myself. That’s where the bad and ugly come in. What was going through my mind…definitely not butterflies and daffodils. Then I’m feeling guilty about my “self talk.”

Taylor comes out to check on me, she’s working on her final project. 8 days, and then she’s done, but she cannot do anything more as her plate is full and overflowing. My comment to her,”At least we both hate what we’re doing :).” She agrees and goes back into the house.

I used to enjoy everything with Archie. Scooping poop, as long as we were together? I’m good. Now, not so much. Now everything is a reminder of the promises that never came to be and the loneliness while doing necessary responsibilities.

I need to hear from my heavenly Dad in a big way: 

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Genesis 2:8

Ooops, that was not a helpful promise, but to be honest, that is the one going through my head. I have not questioned God, as I trust that He is in control, but this sucks, because Archie and I were a pretty good “fit” for each other. Now, I am alone. Ok, Dad, what else do you have?

“At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” 2 Timothy 4:16-18

Coming clean, and it’s ugly and selfish: I was really feeling deserted by Archie today. The promises made for “tomorrow” he sold to people who said they “thought” of him as family, instead of giving his time to the real family that loved and miss him so much it hurts everyday. Everyone else still either goes home to their loved ones or meets up with them whenever they feel like it. 1/3 of our entire family is gone. I felt robbed and angry.

Time to get a grip and take my eyes off of myself. It’s not going to change anything, bring back Archie, or give me back the time. That hurt and anger is robbing me of any chance I have of a future. I have to choose to do “the next right thing:” Look for my heavenly Dad…change my focus.

God does stand by me. He has rescued me from every evil deed by replacing them with acts of kindness: Every Friday Willis comes in and asks,”How are you doing Tracy? Do you need any help with anything?” This week he took the special window that Archie got for me (he was going to work on,”when he had time,”) for Taylor’s graduation. Willis was kind enough to finish it for me, and did a beautiful job. Now I have an amazing place to display pictures of Taylor and Archie for her grad party. God always shows up in the good, bad, and when I am feeling really really ugly.

The end of that verse speaks of how my situation may benefit others that may not believe. As you can tell, my thoughts are not always edifying. I still struggle with anger but prayerfully give it to my heavenly Dad, over and over as I am constantly taking it back to dwell on…like that would make it any better. I can’t fix me. He can HEAL me. I won’t make steps forward everyday, but when I take a step backward I have to choose not to stay there and wallow in my self pity. That can be extremely hard sometimes.

I have to choose Christ. Faith, trust, but more than anything, forgiveness from Him for me and from me to others who will never acknowledge that they have caused me pain because:

Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Ouch. Got it, Dad.

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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