I always thought of missing someone as an emotional reaction. You know, I wake up, the person isn’t around, so I feel sad. A heavy heart, an achy throat. A psychological reaction.
I hadn’t really thought about “missing” as a physical, tangible thing.
This Christmas, I am missing my kids and my Dad in a way that feels like a punch. And it is the physical, touchable, real things that I miss, not just the idea of their presence.
I miss their voices. Mostly, of course, I miss my Dad’s voice. His laugh. His slightly flat rendition of “Home on the Range”. I miss the sound of him asking me “How are you?” I miss the rhythm and the cadence of him telling a familiar story from his days at home as one of 12 children living in an apartment in East Boston. I miss, I miss, I miss the way he said my name.
I miss my boys’ voices, too, although its only been a few weeks since I heard them. I miss the deep, resonant “Hey, Mammadukes” of my Matt. The sound of him describing an idea to me, trying to convey his excitement and his awe about an advance in metaphysics, the halting start and stop as he searches for the right word to fully paint the picture.
I miss Tim’s voice. His humor, his laugh, his mellow tenor as he sings along with a new band that he is showing me. I miss the sound of both boys together, laughing, talking about subjects that totally escape me as they trade joking insults.
I miss their breathing, their snoring, the way they cough. I miss it all.
I miss the hugs from all three. My Dad’s shoulder, the feel of his cheek, the smell of his Old Spice. I miss giving my boys a squeeze, and being surprised each time by how big and solid they are. I miss holding all of their hands.
I know that this reaction is maudlin and somewhat foolish; my Dad lived a long and happy life, and died at a relatively “ripe old age”. But I miss him. I know that my boys are just a drive away, and will be home for the Christmas holiday. But right now, at this moment, surrounded by Christmas crazed children, I miss them so much.
Life is very rich, and filled with so many happy times and wonderful experiences. I get to see, hear, hug and talk to my daughter every day. We share friends, colleagues and occasional dinners. I love my job more than I can say, even when it totally wears me out. I love my husband and thoroughly enjoy our time together and our time with our friends. My dogs are wonderful!