It’s been almost 2 years since you left us, and I miss you so much I can’t breathe sometimes.
I miss your sweet smile. I miss your ornery grin. I miss your beautiful caring heart.
I miss your quirky sense of humor. I miss your Irish leprechaun-looking red beard. I miss your beautiful blue eyes and your dishwater blonde hair. I miss the irritated look you gave me when I accidentally bumped the mole on your head when I cut your beautiful hair.
I miss your Woody Woodpecker laugh. I miss your love of Christmas. I miss the dreamy look in your eyes when you spoke of flying. I miss your tenacity to achieve your goals. I even miss the uncertainty in your eyes when your goals overwhelmed you. Just the memory of that pulls at my heartstrings and makes me want to mommy you, something you (and your brothers) refused to allow.
I miss your work boots being on your feet instead of in a hospital bag in my closet. I miss visiting you in your stinky little apartment. I miss the 45 minute drive to your apartment to see you. I now drive 10 minutes to the cemetery, and wish every minute of the way that you were not there.
I miss the annoyed tone you got when you thought I forgot you were a grown man. I miss the sound of your motorcycle coming down our street. The anxiety I feel every time I hear one now is waning, but I still hope against hope that it will be you.
I miss your phone calls. I miss making you your favorite meals. I miss discussing with you on the phone what favorite meal you would like me to make you. I miss your quiet, soft-spoken nature. I miss the zingers you could lob at one of your family members when we least expected it.
I miss your childhood. I miss each one of you guys’ childhoods. You didn’t know this, or maybe one of your brothers told you about it, but your brothers bought Crisscross Crash for Christmas one of the years you were in Japan. They had me open it last with all eyes on me. The tag said, “To the boys, From Santa”. I cried. I miss my children being children.
I miss the look of wonder in your eyes at almost all things God created. It broke my heart when you came home the last time from the Navy without that look in your eyes. I miss your distinct gait. I miss the way you groaned when I asked you to do something you didn’t want to do.
I miss your determination to succeed in life. I miss the pride in your voice when I asked if you needed help. My heart breaks, but I smile when I remember the time you needed money but didn’t want your dad to know, so you asked me to come in the house to talk to you, away from his earshot.
I miss your snarky comments when you thought we were being a bit too dogmatic about our faith. I miss your arguments about faith. I miss the look of confusion you gave us when we told you we didn’t teach you something you mistakenly believed we had. I miss the look of respect you gave us when we assured you we didn’t know some things and were always quick to tell you that when you were growing up.
I miss your beautiful, loving heart. I miss glimpsing the depth of your character. I miss seeing you carrying your nieces around. I miss your continual willingness to help anyone who needed your help. I miss seeing you hold your nephew, and cannot remember if I ever saw you hold him. I’m sure I did.
I miss praying God will keep you safe. For many weeks after you left us, I still prayed that for you, not able to believe yet that God had you, and you were and are in the safest place there is.
I miss being able to tell you I miss you in person. I miss the way you dropped your chin, put your arm around my shoulders and pulled me closer to you and said, in your soft sweet voice, “I miss you too, Mom.”
I love you, my sweet son. I eagerly await an end to this long separation, and anxiously look forward to seeing you again. I know this will embarrass you to no end, but I intend to not only dance with Jesus, but with you, too.
I am so proud of you, son; always have been, and always will be.
I love you,