The Things I Miss
The things I miss most are centered around what Angie and I have done together. Those things are the memories which we have always been able to share together and even argue about; who may have been the catalyst for the event; who may have been the culprit if there was one; who, of the two of us looked the silliest. I miss them only because when I talk of them to Angie now, it’s to let her know they did happen and she was a major participant. Regardless of how I might structure the memory, or make out as the good guy or the bad guy, I know she is hearing it basically for the first time. In some ways it’s as though she becomes an outsider in whatever may have happened and in that sense I miss her as though she were gone already. And, it hurts when she wants to remember but can’t. It will sometimes make her cry.
I miss not having all the kids around all the time because each of them, in their own way, have contributions to make as members of the family. They validate who Angie and I are as parents together. I know they each feel what their mother and I are going through and want to do more whether they can or not.
I miss not having to put on a happy face for friends who have a good idea where we are at this point in our lives. Our friends have always been our friends, even now when we are on the bottom rung financially. They still see us as friends and that’s why they are our friends.
I miss not having enough time left to correct some of the things I know I did wrong. Things like not providing for my wife because of my tendency to fly by the seat of my pants in all the ventures I managed to get into, and for not thinking ahead because I thought I was too busy.
The main thing though, I alluded to in the opening paragraph. I have always taken religion for granted, but nearing the finish line as we are now, religion becomes something much more important. I have a constant battle to fight because of my selfishness, and the only one who can give me the grace to handle it is God. He has become more real to me now so I’ve learned not to take Him and his message lightly.
I have a choice, Angie no longer does. My God tells me I am in a classic struggle. What it means is my glass is (my choice) either half full or half empty. How I perceive it dictates how I handle it. If I perceive it as half empty, I can see what I do as being a sort of penance for everything I’ve done wrong; therefore, I have no choice but to struggle with the burden of taking care of Angie, in return for all the things she has done for me over the years without ever questioning whether it was her duty or not. It’s who she is, so why shouldn’t I owe her, and God, for my wayward actions?
But, the choice I choose to believe God has let me make is: My glass is half full. What a fantastic opportunity I am privileged to enjoy. For as long as my wife is here, (the part that she hasn’t lost of our past) I get to re-share that with her. So what if it’s my version, that’s why she loved me in the first place. I help her see the world with my eyes just as she helped me all those years see the world through hers.
God, or whatever we humans see as our spiritual source, because I asked him in my selfish pain why I had to suffer the way I was, pointed out a simple fact. My Angelina lost what I needed to see again. The memory of the places we lived and the time in our lives when we were in those places, and the family and friends we shared them with are the well-spring of who we are and why we are.
We were all made imperfect, with the free-will to mold a work of art or a bad imitation. I may have started with the imitation, but right now I’ve got the real thing. I am one lucky son-of-a-well, you know what I mean.
There is a stand of flip cards of prophetic sayings near my desk. When we moved into the apartments where we live I took the opportunity to flip several cards at one time and they happened to open on one particular one, it read– The most loving thing I do will probably be the hardest.
The card will surely be true when the time comes but what I do now for her will make it much easier then.
Angie happens to be a real work of art. Dave Ross April 24, 2010