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Saturday, September 5, 2009

When he's gone

When he’s gone, things are not quite right.

This old house takes on an eerie quiet, a sustained silence that’s unnatural. Even the walls know he is away and refuse to creak as usual. The floorboards and the stairs groan as I lumber up them, baby on one hip, dirty laundry on the other. But the groan is half hearted and weak, as if even these inanimate objects, these pieces of our home, protest his absence. I sigh my agreeance as I round the landing and head towards the washer.

In the morning I feel it the most, this strange lacking. The bed is enormous, comforters and blankets stretch for miles, and strain as I might I cannot take up enough room to make this bed feel full. There are big, gaping expanses of mattress all around me, empty places he should fill. I am swimming in pillows, tossing and turning on a sea of sheets, as dawn slowly rolls in. I hear Asa in his crib by the bed. Early morning grunts and squeaks, calling out to the new day. It’s time to abandon this too-big bed and get up.

Morning fades into afternoon. Hours filled with fighting for nap time and feeding rice cereal; dish washing and email checking. Mundane tasks linked together by my pacing feet. The day progresses, moving forward from 3 to 4 and 5 o’clock, but something is amiss, something is not quite right. The hollow tick of the clock in the kitchen is out of tune and out of synch. The coffee mug feels misshapen in my hand. Our day falters, unsure of it’s direction until we end up at night. Bedtime again and the crumpled expanse of bed lays before me, just as empty as when I left it this morning.

When he’s gone things are not quite right because we belong together. Because we are a family, a unit, a party of three. We were made for each other, the three of us, and things are only as they should be when we are as we should be – together.

But tomorrow, he comes home. And the world will be right again.


Anonymous said...

So beautiful, lovey. Thanks for sharing the sentiments of your poetic heart. It's a beautiful thing to see...true love...xoxo

Anonymous said...

I know this feeling. I always stay up much later - on watch or something- when he's gone. Its not so much fear as difference. Just when you get used to it they come home. Love C.

bess said...

you are a beautiful writer, miss lichey. i can't wait to read more, and see all your beautiful pictures too.



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