1st Birthday (Weekend) without Archie

God has given me a sunny day for my birthday and I am grateful. Today is Archie and my favorite day, Sunday, but there was no sneaking out to make coffee. I am my own Clisthby. There was only enough for one last pot of coffee of Archie and my favorite flavor, but during his chemo he never drank coffee because it did not taste, “right.” After he went home I knew exactly what to do with it…save it for my birthday.

I hear it brewing now… .

I had the weirdest dream. I dreamed our family–I’m not sure who all was there except definitely Archie and Taylor–had gone to a beach village. It reminded me of the Mackinaw island buildings, 3-5 story historic buildings but built into a hillside, with a boardwalk, then the sandy beach to the ocean.

The fam was on the beach and for some reason I needed to go down to the other end of the boardwalk. As I was walking, I was taking in all the people, the busyness, and the smells associated with ocean side villages. The hustle and bustle, everyone with some place to go or be.

There was construction taking place. They were cutting back into the hillside on the other side of the shops. Workman were bring out loads of rock and debris from various shop doors in the midst of the chaos. I remember wondering how they could dig the backside of the buildings out while still maintaining stability. I have seen on TV where high-rises have imploded and was picturing that in my mind when everyone around me started screaming!

The concern meandering around in my head had actually come true and buildings were beginning to collapse. The boardwalk and beach was NOT vast and they needed to get everyone into the water and away from the danger.

All I could think about was getting back to Archie and Taylor. Arch couldn’t swim and I knew he’d be freaked out. Taylor is a fish so she could tread water for hours, but she couldn’t hold up her dad up. I took off down the boardwalk toward them, but they were aways away. People yelling and screaming, trying to keep their families together. I had to get to Arch.

Just then the sun came out. Instant warmth washed over me. I remember blinking just a little longer as the sunshine caressed my hair, then BOOM! A screeching halt! In my momentary long blink I did not see through the crowd that the workers had sand bagged (with loose sand!) one of the buildings to maintain the foundation and I was chest deep in sand! I couldn’t move! I fought and fought but couldn’t get free! Arch and Taylor were somewhere and I HAD TO GET TO THEM!!!

Then it hit me! I was close enough to the edge, if I leaned far enough, maybe the sand would give way enough for me to fall out! I stretched and stretched and then WOKE UP! Crap!

I kept trying to get back to sleep. I had to get to Archie!…to no avail. I laid there as the sun came up, in my very dark, empty, always quiet room. No Archie.


Yesterday, when I felt “empowered” I knew I needed to do my next step. The one I have been dreading. The dream I had is very much like how I feel: stuck, fighting to get to Archie, but no matter what the effort, I will never reach him, in this lifetime, ever.

After my feeling of being “empowered,” I stopped off to work for a bit. This week was the May month release and our “I Want It All” packs, sold out in less than two days. We are still working on orders from Friday. Wow! I am grateful. Cindy had attended “meeting” and was already there. Actual conversation! Then home…to do the unthinkable.

I rounded up the blue bins that were filled and labelled with graduation stuff, now empty and neatly stacked. I carried them into the “warm room” where Archie and my closet is…and carefully placed nearly all of his half of the closet in the blue (my favorite color) bins, crying through the process. Not the birthday weekend I had planned, but I wanted to do this when no one was around.

A fellow-ess widow, at Grief Share, actually lent me her strength. She told me when she placed her hubby’s belongs in bins, she didn’t get rid of them. They are still there if she needs them. That gave me a peace. I am not ready for him to be gone. The illusion that he’s still using his half of the closed had now become a crushing weight, so I needed to physically move the “dream” into “reality” status. And that dear friends, took the rest of my day…

Colossians 1:11-14 “11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks[a] to the Father… .

He definitely gave me the strength, for I have none, and the endurance to finish something I never wanted to start. Patience with joy? Maybe that takes longer to “grow into,” but I have hope. Yes, I am grateful to him and very thankful.

On to the rest of my birthday… .

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.

4 thoughts on “1st Birthday (Weekend) without Archie”

  1. One day at a time… One minute… One hour…. One sleepless night…
    God’s love will get you through.
    Prayers for continued strength 🙏🙏🙏

  2. Although it may not feel like it to you, you are truly the strongest person I know. Please remember that no matter what happens to Archie’s stuff…it’s not Archie…and HE will NEVER be forgotten in the hearts and minds of those of us that loved him! I pray for you and your continued strength daily…I love you 💗

  3. Since the night of the funeral I have continued to pray for “Quiet Joy” in your life. Sitting there that night, I could only imagine how a loss like this would yield crushing, devastating, even paralyzing sorrow. Praise God that He has given you the strength to prove me wrong; I rejoice to see you live and even thrive within these posts, doing so one moment at a time. But as I sat there that night, all I could think to pray was for peace and hope for all those impacted by the loss of Uncle Archie, when God whispered “quiet joy” to my heart. For, as you’ve said before, ‘where there is great love, there is great mourning in loss.’ As such, it would be callous to expect it of ourselves that we merely move on without grief or pain after so great a loss. And yet, at the same time, those who remain on this mission field must carry on living- albeit dwelling deep within the peace and strength of the Lord. This is quiet joy, God told me that night: supernatural, abiding peace that carries us onward meanwhile still allowing oneself the grace to grieve (as is the cost of real love). As I continue to read your posts, I continue to pray Quiet Joy into your life and simultaneously praise God for answering that prayer. For although you may not see it or even feel it each day- Praise the Lord- I see His light shining through you! You are such a blessing and encouragement to all those around you. We love you and are always here for you when/if ever you need us. Many prayers <3

  4. I agree with the comments already made. You are exhibiting amazing strength – I got teary just picturing you and the blue containers. I remember when Grandma went through Grandpa’s stuff … long after he was gone. It was hard for me – harder for her. Glad you’re just … “relocating” it for now. Indeed – one step at a time. Know that you are prayed for daily – loved always …

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