I usually love August. Even though it is usually sweltering in Alabama (or "dog days" as they like to call it...I will never figure out why unless it is because that is all you smell. sweaty. wet. dog. enough said)
This month has not been my favorite August. I have some pieces missing this August.
My oldest girl went to college this August. She was ready to go. I think I was ready to let her go. But that doesn't void out the emotions that swelled up all month while we were preparing for her to go. I only had a few meltdowns...somewhere between 3 and 17, I think :-P I am missing her coming in from work at 6 and helping with dinner. I am missing txting her BEFORE she left work to ask her to stop at Publix on the way home. I am missing txts from her telling me she is on her way home from a friends house or saying that she made it there ok. I am missing her stories about crazy (nameless) people she had to deal with on the phone at work. I am missing clothes-folding "parties" with her late at night while we caught up on episodes of Major Crimes or Duck Dynasty. I am not missing her loud music (well, I'm NOT). I AM missing the way she would listen to Jack Johnson or John Mayer or other soothing stuff when we rode together in her car. I am missing the conversations she, Dewayne, and I had over the years about grace, and freedom, and loving people, and being a leader, and growing up. I am missing her strong-willed personality (go figure), and her determined focus. Sometimes I even miss her bossiness, which really saved me from being the bad guy with the little kids a LOT over the past year (not sure if that is good or bad, but I enjoyed it). I am so proud of the young woman she has become.
The day after we took Waverly to college, I lost another piece...
My Dad, who I had rarely seen over the past 10 years...partly due to geographical distance, and probably more to do with the fact that we are both incredibly stubborn...had a massive heart attack and passed away. He just got a cup of coffee, mentioned how good he was feeling these days, went to the porch and died.
I am missing him. I am missing his motorcycle rides. I am missing the rare telephone calls that somehow felt like it had only been a few days since we had talked last. I am even missing being angry at him for not calling. I am missing his laugh and the way he made everyone else laugh when they were around him. I am missing his hugs (the Vibbert boys know how to hug). I am missing his bbq chicken (weird). I am missing holding hands with him on the couch while we watched "Cheers" on Thursday nights after dinner when I was a teenager. I am missing the reason that I thought it was not important to go to his wedding several years ago. I am missing the fact that he never really got to know my kids. I am missing that I never got to see him as Santa Claus. I am missing that my life is relatively unchanged since he has gone, except for this piece that is missing.