She said “Hey! Aren’t you missing one?” and then she smiled.  She smiled that special smile that says “I just made a funny!”.   She didn’t notice how I nearly tripped over my feet as I fumbled for an answer.  I knew what she meant by her question, but for one irrational second, I thought she was being purposefully hurtful.   It then occurred to me that she had not seen me in quite some time.  The last time we spoke  – on the same sidewalk, in front of the same house – was back in March.  Back then, I could still answer “two” (and not be wrong, like I have been lately) when asked how many kids I have.

He was my foster son.

Mumbled more than spoken, it was all I could get out.   She made a sad face then.  It was the kind of face that people make before they say “I’m so sorry.”   The corners of her mouth turned down, pulling her lips, nose and eyebrows down with them into an expression that would have made me laugh under very different circumstances.  As I made my way past her, with Lucas in tow, I squeezed my eyes shut to block out the words I anticipated would accompany her expression.  

I wasn’t in the mood to explain T’s whereabouts.  There are times when I don’t have words of explanation, but that wasn’t the case on this morning.  I was full of words.  Full of feeling.  Full of anger directed at no one in particular. 

Full. 

Had I stopped to really answer her question and give her an update, it probably would have come out something like this…

Fuck yeah, I’m missing one.  Every day, I’m missing one.  Every sunset, I’m missing one.  Every tick tock of the clock, I’m missing one.  It never stops, this missing one.  I’m managing to get through my days conscious and sane, but I’m still missing one.  There are times when I wish I could stop missing one.  I’m tired.  No.  I’m exhausted.  Missing one is a much harder than I ever expected.  I expected things to be very very very hard.

But I didn’t say any of that.  I politely thanked her for the I’m sorry and kept it moving.

This happened almost three weeks ago, but it feels like it just happened yesterday.  I can’t seem to shake her question.  Hey! Aren’t you missing one? Hey! Aren’t you missing one? Hey! Aren’t you missing one? plays over and over in my head.  I thought maybe if I blogged about the encounter, I could put the loop to rest.  I want to feel and think about something else for a change.  Hell, I want to write about something else, but I know right now that whatever I blog about will end up with the same conclusion. 

I’d like to write about my two recent trips back home to see family.

I’d like to write about me committing to running a half marathon in October (and my desire to lose about 20 pounds).

I’d like to write about how I experience Lucas since T’s absence and how he seems to be experiencing me.  

I’d like to write about Lucas and his new-found mischievous side.

There’s a lot to say, but for now, each time I open my laptop and put finger to keyboard, I know the conclusion before I type even the first letter.

I miss T.  That’s it in a nutshell.  It almost seems silly to type it.  But there it is.

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