More than Once

Day 2 and Taylor has allowed herself to drink out of her “Grace Alumni” coffee mug. Though she hasn’t officially walked, she has completed every task and requirement, including her exit interview. She’s contemplating when she will wear her college ring Archie and I got her in September, engraved with,”Congrats! Mom and Dad”.

As with everything else right now, bittersweet… .

In our two week count down we have a lot of last minute tasks that had to wait until now. Yesterday was to be the last day for RSVP’s but only 20% responded at all, so we don’t know if that means the other 80% are not coming or did not read the “Please RSVP to:”. Taylor’s invitations started and were printed as an “open house”, but with one income now, we inserted a “Taylor’s Reception, Please RSVP” so we could get a grasp on a number. We want to have enough food for everyone, but being there’s only two of us, leftovers could last us for years! So…now we guess… .

Taylor’s putting together display boards for her adventures in college. She loves Grace and is passionate about what they have to offer. So far she only has the Spain adventure complete. Wow…seems like a decade ago she checked off her “cultural” something-or-another requirement. I love seeing the opportunity she was offered.

In going through the pictures, we found one of she and her dad laughing, I mean laughing so hard they were doubled over. Instantly it brought a huge smile, then pouring tears. Wow! I’m incredibly glad I had the camera handy for that one. She is too.

I’m working on a “Window to Mom’s Soul”. The most difficult is the picture of Taylor, less than a month old, laying on Archie’s chest. Right next to it, the last picture taken of the two of them in the hospital. The beginning and the end. This project is something I’ve wanted to do, now with the graduation at hand, it’s is keeping me accountable.

Surrounding these two pictures are pictures of my two favorite people living life. Memory after memory, tear after tear. There will be no more pictures taken with Taylor and her dad. That is hard to imagine. Every time we find a pic we have forgotten I think,”We have to scan that! We cannot lose that memory!” The memory is all we have left of the moment if we lose that picture.

Taylor and I were saying today that it feels like just yesterday that Archie went home. It also feels like it’s been forever since we’ve seen him, laughed with him, or talked with him–years. We don’t understand how our minds twist and turn. It’s like having your foot on the accelerator, all the way to the floor and the brake, both at the same time.

The next two weeks are going to be killers. This is what Archie and my goal was: to give Taylor every opportunity possible to follow her dream, to have a soft place to land when her dream seemed up hill and she would slip from exhaustion, and be there when and if she ever needed us. We almost had it nailed. But our heavenly Dad had other plans.

Matthew 26:42
He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”

Did you know that Jesus did not ask our heavenly Dad just once to “take the cup”, i.e., not have him die on the cross? Sometimes I feel if God doesn’t answer me the first time, the answer is “no”. Maybe he just needs to hear how important it is to me. Other times I can beg and beg to my heavenly Dad, or fall on my face as Jesus did, and the answer will still be no. At least I have an example now to go by.

Jesus’ plea was so important to him that he asked more than once, and he was not afraid that he was going to be “struck down with lightning,” just for asking. I also have the example of how Jesus graciously accepted the answer, “no.” He fulfilled his calling, causing himself massive pain and ultimately his life.

Life sometimes is really difficult, but at least our heavenly Dad gave us a guide book. Other people have gone through horrible things and survived. Lord willing, we will too.

For now we will choose to celebrate through our tears, hug every memory, cry through our pain, but mostly trust that everything is going to be “alright,” whatever that means.

Sweet dreams… .


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