Have YOUR Way

Psalm 143:10 “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.”

The pitter pat of the droplets ting-ing on the metal roof breaks the silence.”It’s raining again,” I sigh. With the clock about to tick off the end of anniversary 27-2, this February 19, 2018, I patiently wait in the darkness, reviewing my day.

The beginning of today was more or less a mirror of Archie’s second heavenly birthday: early morning to work, and leaving before noon. That was where the similarity ended. Today was not a day to be shared with my amazing daughter, for a wedding anniversary is specific for the bride and groom. The memories of the loving smiles and the excitement in each other’s eyes when the pastor asked “Do you take… ,” and both wait in anticipation to nearly scream,”I DO!!” are still as clear today as they were 29 years ago. Those looks were for the other and no one else. Now the memories are singular. The question begs to be answered: What do you do on the wedding day when the bride is the only piece of the set left on the top of the cake? I’m still trying to figure it out.

  • I did not warm up my car before leaving work. With a near torrential downpour while exiting the building, I walked briskly to the Scion. I started the engine and sat, no music or radio, listening to the rain pounding on the roof trying to figure out what the heck to do with myself.

“Coffee…that HAS to be a good place to start.” On these difficult days, however, even the littlest decisions are laborious.  I made my way out of the parking lot, turning right, which was the opposite direction I needed to drive. I had driven 2 miles before I even realized. “Ugh. How badly do I reeeally want coffee?” Resetting my mental GPS, I revised my course and finally arrived at Cabin Coffee, this time alone.

When pulling up, the parking lot was packed! There were people standing outside the door which meant crowds and I was NOT in the mood of crowds. “Drive thru?” my mind questioned. There was someone hovering in the drive thru,  blocking the entrance, and no one could pass to get to the window. “That answers that.” and I pulled away, sipping my lukewarm coffee left over from 4+ hours earlier. “EWWW!”

One stop at the hardware, which was supposed to be quick, turned into the game of “Find My Car,” as grief-brain had completely lost even a hint of where I had parked. After the game was finally won, I was heading for home. As I backed into the driveway, I noticed the now empty trash can laying on it’s side next to the road. Sigh,”I reeeeally don’t feel like getting soaked to the bone for the sake of ‘what my neighbors might think’ if I leave the trash can where it’s at for a day,” my mind justifies.

Even after the trash can justification, I sat in the car with the rain beating down, staring straight ahead. The sky was grey, reflecting the way I felt inside, and I sat in the stillness watching the droplets dive into and creating puddles.  “I don’t want to go into the house,” my mind realizes. 20 minutes pass, car still running. But for the hum of the engine all was silent, except for the beating rain. “What do I do?”

I had planned on driving to see Archie, but thought it would not be wise in 50 degree pouring rain, even though it was a comfort to think the world was crying with me.  This would be the first year I would not be “around” him on our anniversary, so I needed to come to terms that this anniversary would just be me, so I sat.

I tried to think of things we would have done together: eating out (Alone? No thank you), getting coffee (tried that) or visiting an antique shop. “Hmmmm, that last one….maybe????”

“Pitter pat, pitter pat, pitter pat,” went the rain. It was washing any and all hopes of me wanting to drive anywhere away. “Pitter pat, pitter pat,” but that left going into the house and I didn’t want to. “Pitter pat…” and that is when a decision had to be made. Anyone who TRULY knows me, knows that I don’t make personal decisions easily. Truthfully, it’s quite annoying how long it takes, almost as if every decision could mean the end of “Life as we know it!” which, of course, it doesn’t but that’s just how my mind now works. I now rely heavily on Heavenly Dad for movement forward and at the moment, I was stuck in the car.

“Do the next right thing.” That’s all I could think of. Crap! You know what that meant. I shut off the car, trudged out to the road in the pouring rain, retrieved the “stupid” trash can (though I was doing the next right thing, that didn’t mean I had to LIKE it), and then went into the house.

I took care of the fury kids, as they were VERY excited I was home, but then what? I stare at my empty house, except for the bouncing pups. “Lunch…probably ought to eat something,” but I did not want to cook. Crazy as it sounds, Heavenly Dad must have known. Saturday, had been a work day for my “new journey” and my friend Grace had made some amazing taco soup. Before she left, she seat-belted the crockpot into my front seat, so I would take it home (smiles). I’ll bet she didn’t know that was going to be my anniversary dinner!

A little bit of house work and my tank was on “E,” the hands on the clock waiving goodbye to 1 or 2 pm. “What in the world?! How can I be this empty and barely half way through a day?” I think to myself as I plop onto the roll out. Though I have battled with sleep ever since Arch went home, sleep found and welcomed me until after 4:30.

I woke up renewed. This is not the day I planned, but my plans never are satisfying. At church on Sunday they said people run from Heavenly Dad to run with the world until they realize the world has nothing they really want or is satisfying. With rest and a new sense of purpose I worked a bit on my new journey and made plans to make cookies for a couple who took time  to pop in and shed some light on a particular piece of the puzzle called “Mom’s new journey. ” Heavenly Dad had other plans.

“Brrrring!” My phone rings. Taylor is on her way over. She shows up with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and cake for anniversary 27-2. Best yet: she spent the night, just so I wouldn’t have to be alone.

My lesson for this week: my frustration comes when I don’t know what I’m supposed to do next. I need to let go, put my praise on and let Heavenly Dad have His way.

Until we meet again: Blessings!

 

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.

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