The first day of the rest of your life… .
Monday morning I was going to head into work early to catch up on e-mails. Unfortunately, acclimating to my new normal is a bit of a painful adjustment, so falling a sleep is still a challenge. Sandman didn’t make it to our house until about 2 am. Ugh.
Actually…that was perfect. I decided to go in at the normal time so I could see Taylor off for her first day: God opened doors for her to be surrounded by wisdom, maturity, sacrifice, frugality, and compassion, and use her degree at the same time. It will be interesting to see how she is affected in the days, months, and years ahead.
I readied the coffee and helped pack her lunch. She was all smiles as she had her brew, lunch in hand, satchel over her shoulder, and she was off.
Another first…that Archie missed. Yes, we’ve had holidays and my birthday, but the stepping stones for Taylor: the ones he and I sacrificed for, those are killers. Inside I’m screaming for joy, party poppers are exploding, streamers are sailing thru the air with a whizzing sound, but in reality….there stands…me, quietly smiling. Then, “Yeah!” I squeal. I feel so pathetic. This is not the celebration that was to be, and it stinks being a celebrating party of one. If it were Archie at least she’d be able to look UP to the single party. He would hug her and the rest of the world would disappear for a moment in his embrace.
But it’s me…
I beat her home at the end of the day. We chatted on the phone until she pulled into the driveway and continued until supper was done and the fury kids were fighting over which bowls they were going to eat from. After 9 years you’d think they’d know who’s is who’s. They just like to argue.
After a little Monk, she retreats to her apartment to prepare for the next day…of the rest of her life. The fury kids go out for one last time, then off to bed. That leaves me.
Too many thoughts and memories are in my head and heart today. Mentally I go back to all of Archie and my firsts… . Our first date. The first night we got married (we renewed our vows, so we technically did have two). The first time he carried me over the threshold–yes, there is a picture…somewhere. Our first car…that broke down 12 hours later and had to be towed. Our first paychecks after we were married. Our first house. Our first pregnancy. With all those firsts came file folders full of expectations. Few came to reality, but that was ok, we were together.
So many dreams for an 18 and 19 year old. The sky was the limit and anything was possible. These were the “First days of the rest of our lives… .” When did that stop?
I perched on the back stoop at the edge of dark. I’ve heard that due to pesticides the fire flies are disappearing. You wouldn’t know that tonight. Hundreds of them seem to be rising from the grass, like twinkle lights. One lands on the computer screen. I pick it up and let it crawl across my hand. It scurries over my fingers so I slowly twist my hand and watch as it quickly and quietly pops up over my knuckles, crawling up my arm….until it’s wings open and it takes flight to join the the firework display in the rest of the yard.
I play Steven Curtis Chapman’s “We will Dance” and “I Will be Here” and watch the leaves in Archie’s tree dance, until it is but an outline in the darkness. I find I do that a lot when I miss Arch the most. His tree, our songs, nearly always as darkness invades and conquers the light, leaving the sunshine of hope to retreat until another day.
And now, but the glow of the computer and a few straggling fireflies, the blackness of night has set in. I should go to bed, for there is nothing more to see. Though the swaying branches are no longer in view, I feel the breeze brush over me. I close my eyes and think of how many nights I have sat here, listening to nothing, quieting my soul and spirit since Arch went home, but don’t ever remember a single night while he was here. There were always things to do, or the opposite end of the spectrum: we wanted to watch tv–we needed “down time.” I watched other people live lives while my moments escaped without memories attached. Now that I think about it, it’s like disposable minutes: one time use, no lasting effects, when they are gone, (time is up) you go to bed (throw them away), to get up and start another day…of the same. Interesting choice.
I still do that. I am unsure what I would fill my moments with. I have things I would like to accomplish and have made mental plans, but at the end of the day, there is no energy or desire. Taylor and I are both still very broken. It feels like each morning we start out with wonderful expectations for what we will do together when we get home, but our energy level has not recovered, though we actually do cook healthy meals now.
Isaiah 40:28-31 “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
Renewed strength. That would be amazing. We will continue trusting this promise will come to pass. Until then, tomorrow will be another first day…of the rest of our lives. The day will not be like any we have experienced before nor will there ever be another just like it in the future. It will be a “one and done.”It will be interesting to see what my heavenly Dad does with it. My goal? Not get in His way–because He’s amazing and His plans always succeed. Mine? Not so much.
Until tomorrow: Blessings for the day, friends.