Life is absurd. And life is precious. Family is a lot of both.

Monday, December 31, 2012

A Pile of Little Things

During a very happy Christmas season with my festive brood, I have found my thoughts drifting consistently to my friends who are missing their other half right now. Some have deployed spouses, others met divorce and are working through everything that comes with the breakup of a family, a handful have said a final good-bye and walk daily with the burden of knowing they will never meet again on this side of heaven.

There is some comfort in knowing that 2013 will bring reunions, new relationships, and happier days for many of those same friends.

In the meantime, it is no mere platitude when we say that our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Below is a blog entry by my old neighbor and dear friend. It's a brief and thoughtful glimpse into those little moments that can stop the world for a minute when you are missing the one you love the most.

Chris, Pam, Tim and Matt Zimmerman the day Tim deployed.

It's the little things, like dirty socks
by Pamela Zimmerman
Yesterday under the stacks of folded laundry that had been piling up for days in the big reading chair in our room, I found the clothes Tim wore the last day he was home.  
A sweatshirt, jeans and a pair of socks.  I picked up the socks and the “I’m tough and I can take it” wall crumbled around me. This pair of socks reduced me to a puddle of tears. I sat down in the middle of the boxers, t shirts and jeans and realized it really would be six months before I’d find another pair of Tim’s dirty socks just lying around. Something that would have been an irritation before became so precious to me. In that moment I thought of the little things I miss most when Tim is deployed:
His backpack and boots by the door.
His wallet, keys and phone in the middle of the kitchen counter.
Wet towels on the bathroom floor after his shower.
Asking him a question twice because he is so into the book he’s reading on his Nook.
And yes, I miss his dirty clothes just lying around.
The boys with Tim via Skype on Christmas Day.

I miss the simple signs of his presence in our home. I miss the clutter and the warmth it creates. I miss his laughter, his teasing and his wrestling with the boys at the top of stairs as I say to stop before someone gets hurt. I miss everything. 
Those socks sit perched on top of a new pile of freshly laundered clothes. The cycle of everyday living goes on and I go on too. In six months I will again trip over the boots; move the keys, wallet and phone off the counter; pick the wet towels off the floor; and ask my questions twice. I’ll remind Tim to put his dirty clothes in the hamper but they won’t get there and that’s okay. 
It wouldn’t be home if they did.

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