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Posts Tagged ‘missing’

‎Some days I find myself with a single word looping through my head, over and over again. Each time it happens it is a different word but I can’t seem to get it out of my head, can’t seem to move on to the next word unless I write about it.

For the last couple of days that word has been “missing.”

I sat at the soccer field the other night and acutely felt the absence of my parents. Thankfully they are both well and good, not “missing” in the most awful sense of the word but rather simply missing from our daily lives because they live 3,000 miles away. I watched my son score a goal and instantly thought “they missed it” and then “I miss them” and a happy moment became a sad one.

I’m realizing that you never get over missing someone. My parents and I have now lived on different sides of the country for more years than we l‎ived together. I have been missing them for half my life and it doesn’t seem to get any easier.

And when we are together it is great, and yet not the same as it was, or as it would be. It always brings with it the feeling of being temporary and fleeting. Even when we are together I find myself focusing still on the things they missed leading up to the visit, and all they will miss when they are gone.

I know I am lucky to have them; lucky they are well enough to travel and have the means and time to visit; lucky that at least a couple of times a year I can still place my head on my dad’s shoulder and feel small and cared for within his strength; lucky that I can hold the hands of my mother and my daughter in the same moment and be humbled by the completeness of it all. And I try, I really do, to focus on those things, on the gifts I have been given and yet all too often the other creeps into view, just beyond the corners. What is missing.

I am also missing my friend who is so far away. We keep in touch just the same as we did when she was here but I still acutely feel her absence during the most mundane parts of my day. She is still a voice in my head telling me I can do it and a hand on my back pushing me to continue but I sometimes fear I will lose it. That I will lose that sense of her and when the day finally comes that we are together again, it won’t be the same, that even though we are together, something will still be missing.

I sometimes feel as though I have defined my life more by the things that are missing than by the things that are present. Moving on often brings with it the need to leave things behind; it is often only after we say goodbye that we understand that in making room for the new we have created a hole.

Sometimes I write because I think I may have found an answer; this is one of the times when I write because I have too many questions.

So my heart will hurt a little bit today, as it does sometimes, and maybe tomorrow, when I wake up it will hurt a little less. And maybe there will be a different word looping its way through my head, one that focuses more on what has been found, and less on what is missing.

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When we found out last year that our cat was sick my kids, after their initial shock and sadness, asked if we could get another pet.  They have an amazing way of turning lemons into lemonade, or at least trying.  I informed them that we would not be getting another cat.  Hubby is allergic, and has always been allergic, he just put up with it the first time around.  We wouldn’t ask him to do it again.  They already knew we would never be getting a dog.  There’s the whole allergy thing, on top of the fact that I am definitely not a dog person, so that was strike two.

They sat there looking at me with those big eyes, begging me to give them some kind of hope, something.  I caved.

Maybe a fish, I said.  Sure, yeah, I could do a fish.

We have had them in the past and other than cleaning out the bowl once a week or so, they’re really about as low-maintenance as you can get.  Okay, we could do that.

We said goodbye to our cat in July and I managed to hold off on the fish until September.  It was kind of a back to school kind of thing, together with the fact that my parents were in town so they could go with us to the pet store, the kind of thing grandparents love to do.  So we went to the store and left half an hour later with $50 worth of supplies and two little fish in two little plastic bags.

My daughter picked an orange fish, and named her Cheddar.  According to my daughter it’s very obvious that Cheddar is a girl.  I’ll have to take her word for it.

Cheddar

Cheddar

My son picked a black fish, and named him Puck.  The name became particularly fitting when, on the ride home, we got the call that he had been selected for the rep hockey team.

Puck

Puck

In the beginning I was really just hoping that they would make it through the week.  I mean you never know with these types of things; and my luck hasn’t been the greatest lately.  But, here we are a couple of months later and Cheddar and Puck are still happily swimming around in a fish bowl on a table in our living room.

When we brought them home my kids made all of the promises that kids make.  Yes Mama, I promise I’ll feed them.  Yes Mama, I promise we’ll help you clean the bowl.  This isn’t my first trip to the rodeo though and I could pretty much predict how long it would take until the novelty wore off.  So now I’m usually the one that feeds them, and I’m always the one that cleans the bowl but to be honest, I don’t mind.  In fact, I kind of like it.

I miss our cat all the time, probably even more than I thought I would.  I miss him when I open the door and he’s not there at my feet, trying to squeeze past me to get outside.  I miss him in the morning when he’s not waiting for me in the kitchen, crying for his treats.  I miss him in the evenings when he’s not curled up on the carpet in the hallway, his head tucked under his arm.

I miss him.

And there’s no way two little fish swimming circles and blowing bubbles around a blue tree in a bowl in my living room are going to make up for the fact that he’s gone.  But, in their own little way, they help.  They give me something to do every morning and every night, and I can talk to them and not have to listen to them talk back!

In their own little way, they need me and, in my own little way, I need them too.

Welcome to the family Cheddar and Puck.  We’re glad you’re here.

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Courtesy: someecards.com

Courtesy: someecards.com

I feel like I spend at least part of each day looking for things that have disappeared.

On any given day I will be looking for any number of things, some the same as the day before and some new additions to the list of things that have apparently gotten up under their own power, crawled out of the drawer in which they normally live, and walked away.

My current list includes:

  • my daughter’s polka dot bathing suit;
  • the coupon for $10 off at my favourite bath store;
  • the magazine that was supposed to go back to the library three days ago;
  • the birthday card I need to get in the mail;
  • blue polka dot beach bag (you would think polka dot things would enjoy staying at the polka dot palace but as they seem to be disappearing at an alarming rate, I now have my doubts);
  • my beige camisole;
  • my black bathing suit bottoms (which seem to have disappeared at the exact same time as my beige camisole which really has me curious because they are definitely not two items that I would, or should, consider wearing together);
  • my mind (a standard inclusion on this list, no matter how hard I look this is one I can’t ever seem to find).

I consider myself to be a fairly organized person.  My calendar is always up-to-date, and I’ve only forgotten about swimming lessons one time in five years which I think is a fairly reasonable percentage.  I generally get my books back to the library on time, I mostly remember to wish my friends and family happy birthday on (or around) their actual birthday, and I have not yet lost an actual person (for any great length of time).

I believe the real issue is the enormous amount of stuff that I am now required to keep track of.  For some reason, when I became a “mom” I also inherited the title of “keeper of all things” which, like pretty much all of the other “mom” jobs requires a huge amount of work but came with no increase in pay.

If an item exists (or is supposed to exist) within the four walls of this house, or either of our two cars, or the various bags that go in and out of our house, or the park down the road, I am required to keep track of it.  I am required to know its whereabouts at all times and, more importantly, must be able to produce it at a moment’s notice.

I could have my arm elbow-deep in a clogged toilet and, at that exact moment, if I am asked where the blue soccer ball is, I should know.  Just like I should know where the orange pencil crayon is, the frilly skirt that my daughter HAS TO WEAR today, the tickets for the concert we’re going to in three months, and the Spiderman costume my son wore for Hallowe’en last year.

And generally speaking the answer to all of these questions is: I DON’T KNOW!   I don’t know where your things are, or her things are or his things are. I barely know where my own things are at any given moment.  On many days, merely keeping track of my purse, my phone, my keys and two children is about all I can handle.  And it doesn’t help that things seem to disappear at an alarming rate.

Like a polka dot bathing suit for example.  How does a bathing suit just disappear?  You wear it, you take it off, you put it in the wash, it gets washed, it gets folded, it gets put back in the drawer for the next time.  It’s not like the bathing suit has to go to hockey practice or to the grocery store or run errands every Saturday.  There are really only a few reasonable places that a bathing suit could be.  And I’ve looked in all of them.  Twice.  And it’s not there.

My kids are old enough now that I expect them to be able to keep reasonable tabs on their own things.  This is apparently much too much to expect. When I asked my daughter if she knew where said polka dot bathing suit might be her response was, “did you check in my drawer?”  Umm, thanks for not being helpful at all.  I mean it’s not MY bathing suit, it’s not like I wore it out somewhere and didn’t remember.  It’s HER bathing suit, it goes on HER body, how could she not know where it is?

Granted, I do realize that there are some items on my current “missing” list that belong to me, and that I would have worn and that I should know where they are.

In those particular cases though I’m sure the items in question were stolen from my drawer, and that at this moment, somewhere in the world there is someone wearing my beige camisole and my black bathing suit bottoms, cashing in my $10 off coupon at Bath & Body Works, while reading my magazine and carrying my polka dot beach bag.

I don’t think that’s an unreasonable explanation at all.

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