I still don’t know if you’re someplace/sometime where/when you can read this, but I need to tell you these things, because I’m still not always comfortable talking to God about them and He’s pretty much just as silent as the grave, too. Of course, I expect that.
It’s been more than four years and I still miss you like I lost you yesterday.
And I just want to tell you (again) some of the things I miss about you when I miss you the most because I need to get them off my heart and off my mind so I can move on a little bit more.
Not so I can forget them; just the opposite. But so I can let them go.
So here they go. These are some of the things I miss most:
The smile between us when words weren’t necessary.
Your funny, halting laugh. I used to do anything, say anything I could think of that might be remotely humorous just to hear it.
The way you planned and organized vacation trips for our little family, with all the things you knew we’d want to see and do, and you were always right.
Your version of the Eureka Memento sandwich from Victorian Sampler, and their chilled strawberry soup. Chicken spaghetti. Summer salad with walnuts and raspberry vinaigrette. Apple-stuffed acorn squash to bring in autumn. Your famous sugar cookies at Christmas that we all decorated together.
Hearing you sing alto at church next to me.
The way you got the kids to church on time without me those years when I was working first and second service and sometimes teaching class between.
Being with your side-of-the-family at holidays.
You spot-checking me before we went out together to make sure I looked okay. And me checking you out, too. Oh, my.
Your willingness to proofread my stuff; letting me pre-read yours before publication, and especially partnering with you to write.
The way you made it easier for introverted me to feel part of any group in any social situation.
Your unique perspective.
Your feminine feminism.
Your insatiable intellect.
Your compassion for others.
Your political acumen.
Hearing you (and your sweet mom) whoopin’ and hollerin’ for the Dallas Cowboys every time they played, from the last time they were champs on to every losing season after.
Watching a movie video at home with you tucked under my arm and a big bowl of popcorn on our laps.
Traveling. Driving. Your relief driving. You even made flying and airports and security less stressful for me.
Keeping me calm when I wasn’t. Soothing my overactive anxiety.
When you used to read stories with the kids when they were young.
The first name bet. I still can’t believe you called Harding and talked someone into telling you that the “W.” stands for “William.” But that steak dinner at Coy’s was great; you earned it; and it’s a wonderful memory as one of our first dates. So I miss all those times we went out to dinner together, because they were all as precious as the first.
House-shopping with you all those times we moved.
The days with you.
The nights with you.
The moments with you.
Hearing you say – to me, our kids and others you cherished – “I love you so much.”
I guess if you can read this, you already know that was the wording on Laura’s first tattoo, in your handwriting, from a card you’d signed, inked on her forearm, when she was still seventeen and too young for a tat in North Carolina, so we drove all the way to Kentucky ….
And you know I’m here in Eureka Springs now, and there’s still a whole lot of empty in my life where you used to be.
But I’m trying to move on a little bit more, a little bit closer to where I need to be that a place alone can’t be. Not even Eureka.
I’m not there yet. Not by a long shot.
But this is a few steps in the right direction:
Letting go of some of the things I miss about you.