'I know I've been gone
For a long, long time
I've been singing songs
When all I want is to see you smile
About the time I get there
I'll forget why I'm gone'
- Leigh Nash 'Just a Little' -
Wherever I am, it nearly always feels like a part of me is missing. With every goodbye, I feel as though a small part has been prised from me, leaving me with a sense of loss, like a dull ache in my heart.
There is almost always someone absent, a person missing from the picture. When I am with Spud, I miss my family; when I am with my family, I miss Spud. They are the five people who know me better than anyone else. They are the five people I love better than anyone else. They are the five people who help me to breathe the air God has given me.
I can count the months I have left with my family on both hands. Eight fingers until I find my wings and fly, settling in a new nest for one, three hundred miles away; a nest minutes from Spud's rookery. Minutes rather than hours. But my heart will pine for the four I left behind; the four I have lived with for the entirety of my existence so far. So many memories, I will take with me; so many memories that will come to life each time I am reunited with my family again. So many memories ahead, waiting to be fulfilled.
Then will come the joy of beginning a new life, a new family; one that will not replace the old but extend it...
Spud is a part of me. He is my opposite, my best friend, my soul mate, the guy God chose for me to be with. I know him more than any other. I feel his absence in the same way that I would feel the absence of a body part. He is my right hand.
Two months, and three hundred miles lie between us now, a distance breached by the sound of his voice on the phone each night, and the prospect of meeting his embrace again soon.
I will fill the absence with hope and prayer, love and kindness, family and friends, books and music, study and work shifts, cups of tea, and the busyness of life now I am home again. These are the elements that speed up time. I cross off the days on my calendar with relish, guiltily wishing precious time away.
I dream of the day that I will see his face again; see him smile again; hold hands again; hold him again; kiss again, reminding myself that this day is surely not far off. Soon I will count it off on lectures, early mornings, weeks, months. Not long now...
With each goodbye, I feel the little pieces falling away from me like snowflakes, yet with time, I feel God restoring to me the ones I need again. His love makes me stronger. His promise makes me live. His presence fills me. He reassures me I will see my loved ones soon.