I miss you.
Around Balboa Island a friend and I recently strolled. We passed men your age – some alone, some with spouses, some walking dogs – their chins tilted sunward.
That’s supposed to be you.
Enjoying the beach
you’re not here.
And I hate it.
For Halloween the boys dressed as pirates and Ty shared his snickers and you would have followed behind laughing and teasing, “Go grab extra Baby Ruth’s.”
I thought Halloween without you was hard, but now with dusk creeping early and chilled nights, I think of mom all alone in that big house and how you aren’t there to build her a fire or read close on the couch.
It seems to be this ache that never quite goes away.
Every time the fridge door opens for milk or string cheese, then shuts, I see your picture of our last Thanksgiving, you grinning with that big ‘ol carving knife in your hand, claiming honors on the roasted bird.
Could we have you back for just one more Thanksgiving? One more day to gather as a family to listen to whatever Manheim Steamroller CD you bought from Costco and sit near the hearth and catch up on life and tease mom?
There’s a block with Tanner recently, a timidness to pray, a wall that immediately builds any time we speak of God or church or prayer. And I can’t help but wonder if he’s mad or thinks God took you too soon.
And I want to call you and talk about it. I want you to pick him up from school and over yogurt, tell him it’s going to be okay. That God is not a taker, but a giver.
There have been more times this November, since, well, months really, that I’ve so wanted to hear your voice. I felt stuck about this book title and yearned for your advice. I longed to heave our shoulders together, laughing over cherry cokes. I noticed Tanner’s long legs and couldn’t help but think they were like yours as a young boy, and the tears come quick.
Funny how months can go by and your absence seems talkable and manageable and “over there.” But this week, gosh, I just miss you.
And I’m so very grateful for the Thanksgivings we did have.
For encouraging, hope-filled posts about grief surrounding the holidays, I’m loving these: