During the last several years, I’ve tried to imagine what I miss the most and it’s proven impossible to narrow it down to one simple thing. I miss everything about what my life once was. Today was a hard day, one of those days in which one just wants to crawl back into bed and pretend it was all a bad dream. The moment I was able to think, I imagined what I miss the most. The hugs. Today, I missed the hugs most.
For nearly 20 years, my husband never left the house without kissing and hugging me. Never once. He told me that if anything ever happened, he wanted me to know how much he loved me and he always sealed it with a kiss and a hug. As I drove home, I thought about the way he would’ve been waiting for me or I for him and I tried to imagine how great it would be if he could wrap his arms around me. I tried to imagine how a hug would feel. It’s been many years, but I can still remember. Today, I needed his arms around me more than ever.
My advice to anyone is to treasure the little moments. Savor the unexpected and the expected kisses. Welcome the hugs. Hug every time you get a chance. Make the quick little hugs last as long as possible. Never take either for granted because a day may come in which you never get to experience affection again. Never leave the house without a hug. Tonight, I’ll close my eyes and sleep within a ghost’s embrace. Today, I miss hugs the most.
I was alone at work today and spent a lot of time thinking. I remembered when I began taking college courses. I was so excited and so optimistic that I could not wait to tell him everything about my classes. I did not feel out of place because there were many other non-traditional students pursuing the same goals as me. I will never forget how much it meant to me when my Music instructor told me that I was “a super awesome student.” I beamed with pride. He beamed with pride. One particular exam consisted of about 75 possible terms. I studied so hard for that test because I wanted to make a perfect score. He helped me study every night. He told me that he was learning a lot too. I will never forget his expression when I explained how the Castrati obtained their beautiful voices. We had so much fun studying together. When I told my instructor how my husband was helping me, she said that I should do something special for him. He also endured the heat so that we could attend a fourth of July concert so that I could complete an assignment. He sacrificed so much so that I could concentrate on my studies.
He not only helped me study, he encouraged me to study. When I wrote a 30-page paper for my Biology class, he took care of our three dogs so I could complete the paper. I remember that we withstood a hurricane one night when I had Biology class. He refused to let me drive because the weather was so bad and I refused to miss class, so he drove me to class. He sat out in the truck for almost three hours and never complained.
I miss my husband. Once upon a time, I called him whenever I turned off the highway onto our dirt road. We played a little game in which I would say, “Guess where I am at?” and he would reply, “Are you on Caney?” If our daughter were nearby when we did that, she would roll her eyes and possibly gag. I think of that every time I turn off the highway. I even tried to call him once to let him know I was nearly home but then, reality hit me like a brick. Once upon a time, I called my love to tell him everything. I turn my phone off now. He already knows.
Time stops on Saturday night. The nights are a hundred hours long. The days go by fast, but the nights drag out forever.
I could really use one of his hugs right now. I would tell him what a wonderful husband and father he is. I would tell him how we will grow old together and sit in matching rocking chairs. I would tell him how much I love him. Most of all, I would never let go. Realizing that I will never again feel safe in his arms while on this earth is the loneliest and emptiest feeling ever.