Not Alone

The birthday continued…off to church. I don’t normally go by myself so I got there really early  because I did not want to squeeze into rows. It’s a little different now. We always had to look for a section of seats for the three of us. Now: seating for one, please.

I walked in and headed to the stairs. All at once I didn’t want to be there. I turned for the door and scurried across the parking lot.

What am I doing? What do I want? This is a ridiculous! I turned around and proceeded back inside.

This time, to the information center I charged. “Do they ever need help if somebody in the children’s department doesn’t show up? You know, just a body to help take care of the children.” As a matter of fact they do. I put my name down for consideration.

In to the service. At one point we were suppose to turn to the person next to us and say something. Ummmm…everybody was in couples or families so no one turned to me. Interesting. Then Pastor Dave said the person we spoke to was suppose to turn us and say something back. Well, if I didn’t talk the first time, there was no one who could respond back. Singleness… . Even church is changing.

I hurried out of service before the last song began, ducked into a bathroom and changed into kayaking gear. I was determined…until I walked out the door. Brrrrrrr! Cold and windy. Poo. When the sun popped out it was warmish, but trying to carry a kayak that is bigger than me in windy weather is like trying to pull an open parachute across the front yard in a wind storm. It’s not going to happen.

I was going to go to the cemetery on the way, so I decided to head there and then home, disappointed.

On my Mom’s grave, through last year, I took flowers to her grave site. Not this year. Nothing seems right.

I stopped off, on the way, to a little shop I knew had cemetery flowers and such. I’m not sure what I was in the mood of, but it wasn’t there. On the way out the door I heard a,”ting-a-ling,” turned and saw wind chimes. Archie knew I love wind chimes. In the back there was this child-looking chime that had a bee on the top with a whirly, then beneath, wind chimes that weren’t tinny in sound. I bought those and a short Shepard’s hook and then off to the grave site. Any one that knows me from my days of youth knows the nick-name of “bug.” Granted, a bee is not a lady bug, but both have wings and make a whirling sound. Close enough: a bug with wind chimes. It’s my birthday so I can cry if I want to. So I did.

It was still chilly and gusty at Archie’s grave and quiet, always quiet. My life is quiet. Archie was the talker, I, the listener. Now, the silence is deafening. I placed the hook and connected the chimes. I sat on our bench and listened to the whirl and “ting-a-ling.” It wasn’t quiet anymore. Peace.

The sun went behind the clouds and stayed for a while. It grew cooler. I walked back to the van, rolled down the window and listened to the whirl and ting-a-ling, for a while longer. Time to go. I drove to mom’s grave and someone has planted lilies that are coming up. Those will be beautiful. In fall I will plant bulbs for Archie, then he will have beauty, too. Home.

As I tearfully left the cemetery I thought of everything I have lost, half of myself. No verse today. I need to worship….

I am not alone. I begin to praise:

The van is currently working. Taylor has had the opportunity to step out and get away. The chimney was fixed. I have a kayak with me. My bills are getting paid. The Nimtz’s have mowed my yard so I haven’t had that stress. Taylor is a college graduate. I have a job I adore. My employer’s are amazing. I have birthday coffee and chocolate waiting at home. I am blessed, even when it feels like life sucks. I take my eyes off what is out of my hands and focus on what my heavenly Dad has placed IN my hands. I have too… .

Taylor bought me zebra cakes (Archie and my favorite to split) and York mints, my favorite candy, for my birthday. I warm up more of the birthday coffee and pop in a TV serious so there are voices in the house. More tears. Almost there. When this day is done I can say I’ve made it through…

but not alone.

 

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.

2 thoughts on “Not Alone”

  1. You are a very strong person. Your faith is overwhelming.. You should be very proud of how far you have come.
    Prayers for continued strength

  2. ❤️ Chimes – another thing we share (Andy hates them). Sorry you had to spend your birthday alone – glad you were able to find some peace doing so. “Ting a ling” … Keep trusting, walking with your hand in God’s. Love you.

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