Throughout my life, I have found myself missing people, missing places, and sometimes even missing things. Sometimes a physical absence from someone you care about occurs because of a move. Other times, a loved one has passed away. I have found myself missing a place or location where fun times were had. A vacation location, a favorite now closed restaurant, the shade of a tree no longer on land that is open to the public. I miss you is a phrase that often leaves my lips if not thought of and not verbalized. In French, it is Tu Me Manques, or You Are Missing From Me. That expression appears to be more of an accurate description. A piece or a portion has gone missing from me.
My mother passed away 5 years ago this past February. Daily, hourly even, I miss her. I ache for her. I wish I could speak to her on the phone. I want to meet her for lunch, see Christmas lights with her, enjoy a game of scrabble and enjoy some cocoa. I loved singing with her and laughing with her. I loved watching her play with my kids and reading to them. I loved cooking with her and making chocolates at Christmas with her. And knowing that she was always available to help when a tough week approached. A rare form of cancer took her from us in a short 2 1/2 months. Tu Me Manques.
My friend Laura, her husband Chris and children Emma and Copper, moved to Georgia 2 1/2 years ago. A necessary move due to a job change separated us and I miss her daily. All the text messages, phone calls and face time sessions in the world do not fill the physical void of her absence. I have enjoyed three trips to see her in the past year and will see her again after the New Year. But to go from seeing each other all of the time, going to church together, enjoying bible study together and doing life together, to seeing each other every few months, makes me realize it all the more. Tu Me Manques.
My parents divorced when I was 12. When I was 14, my father moved from Minnesota to Washington. He made a life for himself, remarried and loves his life in the mountains. He has had a lot of physical problems and surgeries. He doesn’t travel much and it is difficult for my family to plan the logistics of travel and housing with Zach. (Our special needs 14 year old son) I have seen my dad maybe 6 times in the last 25+ years. I miss him always. Phone calls are occasional as my days are so full with work and kids and all my side hustles. I need a parent. Even at 42. I need a parent. Tu Me Manques.
I miss the white sand beach on the Gulf of Mexico in Narvarre, Florida. I miss the warm water, the way the time doesn’t matter, how life just slows down and makes room for enjoyment. Lazy days in the ocean, relaxing evenings poolside. Tu Me Manques.
I also find myself missing characteristics of a person or aspects of a relationship. The way he held the door and my hand. The way she and I laughed until we cried. The way they looked at me and earnestly listened as I poured out my heart. I miss his laughter. I miss her generosity towards my children. The way we played together hours on end. I miss that. I miss it a lot. Tu Me Manques.
I lost 4 handkerchief’s in a move from Chanhassen to Carver 15 years ago. Normally, this would be something that didn’t matter. It matters so much to me because they belonged to my Grandma Collova. I may have never used them, but I treasured them. I would run my fingers along the lace lined one and think of my childhood spent with Grandma. I often still pray they will show up somewhere, full well knowing I made a mistake somewhere along the way and they probably found their way into the donation bag. Tu Me Manques.
Maybe I have become more sensitive in my old age, maybe just more aware of how people, places and treasured things make me feel. That is why Tu Me Manques sounds more accurate to me than an I Miss You.