What You'll Miss...

Despite what anyone tells you, what you'll miss most when you die is the little things: the grass between your toes, the clink of the ice in your coffee, and the scent of the breeze as it lifts your hair and tickles your neck. Those things you'll miss and so much more, because those are the moments of life. Those major life moments, special as they are, are not the things you remember. They're made up of small moments, the ones that make your day unique to you.

Like sitting in the sweltering heat, in black heavy robes, just waiting for your name to be called. Of walking to the stage, just praying you won't trip or lose your cap, or do something else stupid stupid that will make you the one no one forgets. Of the smile and the handshake, the snap of the photo, and being handed the paper you paid for, only to return to your seat an realize it's not even the real thing, but only a prop to tide you over while you wait for the mail. Of the sudden realization that there are no classes tomorrow, and the freedom that turns to fear in the light of the uncertainty.

Like standing in the foyer with the storm raging outside that ruined your plans for pictures in the park and caused flooding severe enough to make the pianist miss her flight from Chicago, delaying everything as drowned rat guests trickle in. Of fighting the white runner that you didn't even want but you needed to have so you could live the dream of walking on those rose petals that never got dropped by a little girl afraid to walk through the crowd of people. Of the song that seemed shorter the day that you picked it, with everyone staring at you just standing there nervously giggling and waiting for the end. Of tripping on the long train you just had to have and paid far too much for, just so you could feel like a princess. Of good-natured laughter when you hiked up that skirt and practically ran from the sanctuary, dragging your baffled new husband behind you.

Like the sudden realization that you'd given up on tests and can't even look, not knowing where the sudden nausea comes from. Of that first tiny yawn and the hours of tears, incompetently fighting with sleep. Of standing over his bed and brushing his hair back from his face as his eyes flutter in dreams. Of the handful of crumpled violets, clenched in tiny hands and held as an offering of love and devotion. Of the single tear that runs down your cheek when you watch the backpack disappear down the hall, wondering with a mixture of sadness and joy how you'll spend the next 3 hours all by yourself.

Like the story of one child that pulls at your heart as the sun sets at camp and you know that you've only begun. Of the mountains of papers and hours of examination of every aspect of your life and the thousands of dollars and the perfect house you sacrifice to know what happiness really is. Of the pan of cookies that nearly burned to a crisp as the holiday tradition turns into that call that changes your life. Of the quick run to Target for itty-bitty diapers and formula for a little girl you've yet to meet. Of the round of applause from family and friends as this angel becomes more than just an idea and again when the final decree is spoken. Of the squeals of laughter that tickle your ears as you tease those chubby legs, admiring the strawberry blonde curls she didn't inherit from you.

Like the steadfast gaze of adoration after a decade of change and the knowledge that you'd never go back and you wouldn't change a thing. Only knowing all the memories of things that didn't yet happen all those things that you know you'll still miss. These tiny moments are the things you'll miss when you die.


Lorraine said...

Beautifully written; wonderful memories that you have included. Love you.

DarkMaiden said...

Ditto what Mom said... beautiful words :)