I am lonely for my daughter.
Not lonely because I am alone, abandoned, friendless, Godless. None of those things. In the past few years, I have been more intentional about paying attention to God’s presence. I remind myself that He’s always here; it’s me who wanders off sometimes. I appreciate friends more. I know I can be annoying at times. I annoy myself! So, when I start to get irritated at some perceived fault of a friend, I remember they tolerate my need to have every domino lined up EXACTLY STRAIGHT and my tendency to correct improper grammar.
I am blessed beyond measure with close and extended family. My brother and I might go for weeks without talking, then pick up our last conversation right where we left off. My grandchildren are a joy and their parents are intelligent, interesting people – accomplished adults who I am immensely proud of.
My husband and I are both introverts. We need solitude. We often sit companionably in the same or different rooms absorbed in our own books or minds. We tend to stay at the table for hours after Saturday breakfast debating politics or music or literature and avoiding chores. Time away from the world is precious.
I am rarely undesiredly alone. I am rarely lonely for company.
Rachel was like me in that way. She was like me in so many ways: looks, personality, annoying habits. We enjoyed each other’s company, humor, silence. We got on each other’s nerves. Like mothers and daughters do. Like friends do who know each other well. Like people who tolerate each other’s humanness.
I am lonely for that reflection of me that is gone away. I am lonely for the differences.
I am lonely for the gaps in time when we might not talk or text. Not because there was anything wrong, but because we were each busy in our lives or needed respite from the busyness.
But, that gap was of our own making. Now the gap is fixed. Set to be closed at some future time I cannot know and cannot change.
I am lonely in the gap.