I hope everyone is having a nice cookout today. Memorial day, the non-official first day of summer is upon us. It is nice, I think, to celebrate the lost lives of veterans with the onset of a well earned summer and the glee it brings many people. As I posted about War and the losses it incurs two posts ago, I thought I would focus this post on memory and loss of another kind.
I am happy to report that I have a wonderful life. My marriage is strong, my children are happy and healthy, my home is swell, and my jobs are secure. I live by the sea. It's all good.
But it took a war to get here. I went to war at eighteen and I didn't get to begin to enjoy the spoils until I was thirty. That was twelve years of war. A long fight. And even though I won, the war took its toll in many ways.
I miss you, my friends. I miss the long talks on the phone and the movies watched while we twirled each others glossy, young hair in manicured fingers. I miss the dramatic, middle of the night rescues and the cathartic cries. I miss the compliments only good friends can deliver, and the critiscism too. I miss laying on my bed, three or four girls deep, laughing and talking about pretty, pretty things. I miss the love you all lavished on my baby. I remember you.
I miss you mom. I miss the quiet calm of your love. I miss walking with you late at night as you tried to tell me the darkness was a velvet blanket and not something to fear. I miss adventurous drives to nowhere in particular. I miss laying on the couch and watching black and white movies on PBS and not answering the phone. I miss our life. I remember you.
I miss you me. I miss the long baths and the long walks and the yoga and the days spent in bed reading an entire book in one sitting. I remember you.
I miss you mess. I miss the chaos of my things laying everywhere around me. I miss piles of clothes and stacks of books. I miss papers and pencils and flowers gone dead and dry and pretty again in vases that I was too lazy to empty out. I remember you.
And though I wouldn't take back any sacrifice I made for the life I now have, I need to remember what was lost. That is the most important thing. Because without paying homage to what was lost, we can never appreciate the value of what we gain.