Writing on steroids may be a mistake. Even this first sentence presented an inopportune misadventure. I actually typed “Writing on hemorrhoids may be a mistake. Surely if the former poses a danger, the latter definitely will. (The reason I am “on steroids” is because I had my IVIG treatment and it is a pre-med to prevent an adverse reaction. I can now hit a 95 MPH fastball but let’s see if I can write.)
For good or ill I am in the mood to write about missing.
Missing you? Missing moments? Missing evening light this time of year? Whatever it is that we sometimes miss we all can relate to the mood of missing.
I have been cursed with the mood of missing for quite a while.
The funny thing is that when I possessed the missing, whether it be an object or a person in my life, I never failed to take it or them for granted as if they would always be there when I desired them.
Mickey Mantle for instance.
Growing up in The Bronx in the ’50s and ’60s I, like many of my friends, adored Mickey Mantle. I often went to see him play, but not quite enough as I came to realize when he was no longer playing. I missed those days and the lost opportunities to see my hero. When I had children of my own, I vowed that I would get them to see their heroes as often as I could. But, they still miss their heroes who are gone.
Missing people who played such a significant part of our lives is healthy and is the final act of love that we bestow on them. When parents die, worse, when siblings die, the mood of missing never leaves you. But, the good news is they frequently come to visit in our memories, and we can almost see them and hear their laughter.
Missing inanimate objects such as one’s house is a little harder to explain. I miss living in our house in East Quogue. I loved my house. I loved building fires in our fireplaces. I loved going down to our finished basement to watch Yankee games and Ranger games. Even watching Jet games was enjoyable but far less satisfying.
But as much as I loved my house, it had nothing to do with the house. It had everything to do with the life we shared in that house. Mowing the lawns, watering the grass so that you had to mow the lawns again next week. The neighbors we had and the memories we shared. Christmas parties, birthday parties, simple Saturday afternoons preparing dinner.
It’s really not the house, it’s the home.
I am missing that.
The trouble is if I could, like Dorothy, don a pair of ruby slippers and click my heels and be whisked back to 10 Halsey, I would be missing my life here in Florida.
That is my curse.
At my lowest moments when I am missing my children and the life we had in East Quogue, I know in my heart of hearts that I would be writing this essay about missing Florida. It’s just the way I am.
I am afflicted with missing.
Of course, the only people I have shared this diagnosis of my temperament are Eileen and my children.
I really don’t think it’s a bad thing to miss the good things in your life so long as you’re able to recognize that you are still blessed with a good life.
We have loving friends and family in our southern retreat and no longer have to face the winter blahs. So, despite the fact that the steroids may be affecting my emotions as I type this I really do appreciate all that I have, and I am convinced that Eileen and I did the best thing for us at this time in our lives.
I think missing is more affirming than a sign of melancholy. Missing is an acknowledgment that you were blessed with good people who love you and had so many good memories that you shared.
The fact that Eileen and I can continue to enjoy a life together is miraculous and a constant reminder that I have much more in my life than what I am missing.
Sorry if this is just jibberish to you but let me just add that missing isn’t a bad thing as long as you’re able to move beyond it.