People come and go in our lives, sometimes like the sudden whoosh of a revolving door and at other times in a much slower, more painful manner, much like having a boulder rocking back and forth on you before it rolls on to crush another target. That would be a quite excruciating scenario but there are those that actually lie down and welcome that damn boulder with open arms. Some leave mud tracks and stubborn stains on our hearts that last for years despite a good scrubbing, while others depart with a gentle touch and a hopeful wish to return someday resuming the rightful spot they once held. The latter type of exit may seem to be the best possible outcome but in reality it is the hardest.

I have missed many people in my life but I notice I feel it more intensely now. To say, “I miss you”, implies a deep sense of caring but is that the true intent of those words or is it said out of habit, like saying God Bless You after a sneeze? Do I miss their smile, their laugh, or the way they made me feel when I was once in their presence? It could be any one of these things or even all of them combined. Missing is about not being encircled in their arms, not feeling their warmth beside me when it is most desired. Missing is about not having an eager, listening ear that wants to hear my life story even though I am not quite comfortable telling it and it is about the comforting buzz of a text message alert that lets me know that they are still…there.

Missing is truly about me and not them because unless told…they have no idea the mark they have left. I owe them a clear statement of the meaning of the words “I miss you” and to voice my meaning honestly. Missing is about the needs, wants and emotions inside of me that are somehow left unattended in the absence of the person I no longer have access to on a physical basis. The saying that “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is a ridiculous thing because, on its own, the statement screams “delusional” but when it is combined with a need to justify romanticizing an otherwise unfulfilling relationship it walks straight into vomit inducing range. Absence is about being gone or away from the one you really want to be with and that is something I am not even remotely “fond” of. I don’t want them to go and when they do it hurts and not in a fuzzy, romance novel way but in the “insert knife, twist left and right then jerk upward” kind of way.

Being open to another person creates a way for “missing” to creep in, to inhabit your heart like a homeless squatter but I welcome it anyway because to run from “missing” is to run from life. I cannot do that so I miss, I care and I hope for the eventual return of or journey to the one I enjoyed laughing with, sharing with and truly being free with. That is life or at least the life I want and so I will gladly wait because I know it is finally my turn to make “missing” a friend that gives rather than takes.

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