In Peace

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

Sleep…my ultimate eluder.

Taylor flew with her “other family” to California last May, as that is where they are from. (her best friend’s family, who came to our house while the paramedics were still there, the day Arch went home–I’m grateful).  Unfortunately, the return trip was far from what they expected with a crash landing. I know nothing about it until I received a call from EMTs telling me Taylor’s blood pressure and heart rate were in excess and they wanted her to go to the hospital, but she was refusing. They asked me to talk to her. Being 21, I could not tell her what to do, she ultimately stuck to her guns and did not go. The next month the airlines refunded her ticket–doubled.

She was required to use or loose the airline credit by the end of August. You would think that she would be excited, but the crash landing left residual effects and she had no desire to fly ANYWHERE. Within the last few days the credit was active, Taylor called to say she was buying a ticket for both of us. She found comfort in the thought that if the plane crashed this time, at least we would go together.

The latest flights that could be scheduled were for January. Still not excited, she made arrangements with family in FL and her “other family” for the very last week. So, I received the call. Oh, my.

For sanity reasons and being I was lacking in available vacation time, Heartfelt opened the door to do what I love to do, teach classes for one day while I was away. There was my comfort, familiarity, in the unknown.

There was, however, also the added expenditures involved with car rental, tolls, food, and other expenses I knew would come up. I spent at least one month trying to figure out how to bail out of this escapade, for financial reasons. Heavenly Dad is completely supplying all of my needs, but expecting more is just…greedy, or so I thought. From out of the blue a prayer warrior sent a check that removed any plausible excuse. I was committed, or heavenly Dad committed me, to this adventure. I’ve heard it both ways.

There is also my sleeping issues, or the lack of sleeping issue, may better a better description. I have hovered over the 5 hour per night mark for quite a while now and sharing a room with 3 young ladies may not be the most advantageous for them.

Eleven and a half months since Arch went home, one would think the scabs would be thick and the journey less emotional. But grief has plans of it’s own.

Neither Taylor or I packed until the day we left, both crying with items being tucked into our shared bag. It was a long morning, both complaining how we should not be so emotional, this was suppose to be fun. Though we have taken day or weekend trips together this year, this would be the first vacation without Archie. For at least the last 3 years family vacations were scheduled intertwined with Archie’s schedule to stop and meet with customers and Taylor’s college schedule. Now, neither applied. This did not seem fair, to have this freedom and not have Archie to share it with.

Life is not fair, but not just for me:

Ecclesiates 9:11-12 I also saw other things in this life that were not fair. The fastest runner does not always win the race; the strongest soldier does not always win the battle; wise people don’t always get the food; smart people don’t always get the wealth; educated people don’t always get the praise they deserve. When the time comes, bad things can happen to anyone!

(I don’t think heavenly Dad would have added this to the Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth-the Bible-had it only pertained to me.)

Taylor did one better and also bought Disney tickets for herself and me. Archie did not like rides so family vacations were scheduled to avoid such things. He did want Taylor to experience some Disney so we visited once when she was in high school. He sent us on the rides while he waited. I was torn, wanting to be with both Archie and Taylor, so that vacation was painful and I have few memories of it. Now there would be no guilt…so I felt guilty about that (a double edged sword).

We found it cheaper to get a hotel with free parking and a shuttle to the airport than airport parking (cha$, ching$–see what I mean?). We were off.

I am writing with the end of this adventure in sight. With the one week anniversary of Archie going home on the horizon, bringing a restless, teary night, I relented to heavenly Dad’s nudging to write my thoughts…so I can move forward.

I am grateful we arrived safely. I am grateful we had a visit with my Dad and Stepmom (and her sister). I am grateful we stopped at the grocery store and have been packing the majority of our food to save on expenses, curbing my anxiety. I am grateful for the opportunity to share crafting with 80+ ladies. I am grateful for the 3 hours I spent with the amazing store owner as she shared her heart for the Lord, her struggles, the amazing story of when she gave her heart to heavenly Dad, and the laughter and tears associated with the memories and losses of our loved ones. I am grateful I have been so tired from Disney I have slept 6-9 hours each night. I am grateful for the quiet, unrushed moments with heavenly Dad as my roommates ready themselves for the day. I am grateful for the young women who have come around my daughter, refusing to leave her side, even when the grief has taken it’s toll on her physically. I am grateful for the time to spend with these ladies and get to know them on a more personal level. I am grateful for the night, though it brought with it pain with memories, that magnified the commonalities of Taylor and her Dad, in the form of a four story pineapple.

I am grateful for heavenly Dad’s provision over the last year.  I am grateful that heavenly Dad has stood by my side even during my uglies over the last year (or life), embarrassing myself and Him. I am grateful for His provision, in excess (things money cannot buy), over the last year. I am grateful to Heartfelt Creations for showing up time and again to support me when I hadn’t even worked for them a full year when Archie went home. That is humbling.

Taylor and I had a chance process a bit while being away. I asked her if she feels like everything has changed in the last year. She said,”Yes!” and we talked about how she has grown especially in her financial maturity, as she went from mom and dad covering all of her health, car, and food responsibilities to now those are all her own, along with the vet for her dog-ter that she’s had since she was 12 years old.

She said,”Don’t you?” This year has been hard.  Everyday getting up not because I want to, but because I was choosing to do the next right thing. Battling for ten months hospital bills and insurance companies, while trying to pay my monthly bills, attempting to keep my grief in check and trying to help my daughter maneuver her journey of grief. With all of that being said, and this sounds ridiculous, Archie worked sooo much, somewhere in my heart it feels like he’s still coming back, so it’s still waiting…but he’s not.

This is where my verse for the day comes in:

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

It’s not because I have it, but I know/trust/have faith someday I will.

Until February 13th: Blessings!

 

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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 “In Peace”

  1. I’m glad you both had time away….to experience and create new memories. I did not need a reminder of Archie’s home going…..I remember…..and as always, I appreciate your blog. Jason has carried on the “Verse of the Day” that Archie started e-mailing each day to R&D employees. And a recent verse challenged me. Psalm 59:16. ” But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.” And whether you realize it or not, you are doing this through your blog. It’s been a very hard year but you also share how God is working.
    Praying for both of you .

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