Growing up I was lucky to have parents who were able to afford overseas trips and by overseas trips in this case I mean Puerto Rico. Roughly every other summer my mom would pack our bags and off we went for 3 months of cultural immersion.
Dad, the workaholic that he was, typically would spend that time away from family at Indland Container Corporation. His weekends were either spent on his motorcycle, fishing, or hanging out with friends. (every married guy’s dream.)
I never heard from either parent whether or not the other was missed but dad would call every week. I liked the break because it meant something different, playing with cousins, going to the beach, eating PR food and not having to face Mr. Disciplinarian.
Irregardless, I always wondered if my parents DID miss each other…I guess after so many years of marriage they took each other for granted. Dad did his thing, mom did hers. I never thought I would end up marrying someone who ended up many miles from home. And if I even had the faintest inkling that I would…..I always thought *I* would be the deployable one.
When you love someone and they leave, you keep close their memories, their love. And with that you’re never truly alone but tell that to the heart when days…nights go by and you face each and every one of them alone, you go to bed alone and wake up in the middle of the bed not worrying about stealing the covers or taking up too much room but you miss that worry. And you wonder, as I at times did….had mom ever miss dad’s presence all those years ago…because I know she does now and he isn’t back home in Indiana waiting for his family to return from the island. But he remains, he remains in our hearts and this is something I never take for granted. And as much as I miss my husband I wonder the impact of his death would mean to my heart if he were the first to go. Love is beautiful but also very painful. But I try to hold on to the joy it brings, because love does indeed make life beautiful………
Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!
Henry Scott Holland
Canon of St Paul ‘s Cathedral