I Miss You
By Christy Spaulding Boyer
I didn’t even think about it, how I might feel until I started automatically texting my husband a list of things to bring, making sure there were extra blankets because I knew the room would be too cold later. This was the first time I’d been overnight in a pediatric unit since my eldest son died two years ago. My youngest had influenza so intensely that he ended up in need of an I.V.
Machines beeped and the scent of sanitary plastic went through my nose, and I felt a wave of sadness. I quickly tucked it away. This is a different hospital, I told myself, in a different state, for a different reason.
My son fell asleep, and I climbed into my bed at 9:00—my other habit—going to sleep as early as possible, so I’m not tired when we are awoken in the early hospital hours.
I looked out the window at the industrial looking architecture outside, the windows in a pattern of lights or no lights at a different hospital than the one I was used to, but still visually similar. I let a few shy but giant tears roll down my cheeks. I felt privileged (in a sense) that I knew how to navigate hospital stays so well because as long as I’m alive on this Earth, there will inevitably be reasons to come here for someone else or for myself.
But I was sad that I knew it so well. I was sad that I felt so comfortable. Most of all, I missed someone. There have been many techniques I had subconsciously found in the past two years to avoid enduring the pain of losing a child, and some of the ways were quite honestly unhealthy to me or to others, but there was no escaping it here. I missed someone. There was no escape. I missed someone.
A year later I could almost put “missing” to words, and I know whom to send the letter to.
I miss you. I miss the way your hands were white and soft and curved like lilies. I miss the texture of your hair, washed and brushed. I miss your smile, complete and whole, shining like sunlight. I miss the paper thin skin of your of your feet. I miss your crooked elbows that were hard and smooth like river rocks. I miss your laugh like a running stream. I miss your moans, haunting and alive. I miss your face, round like the moon. I miss your red lips, your butterfly lashes. I miss holding you and bathing you and feeding you. I miss you. I love you.
About the Author
Christy Spaulding Boyer graduated with a B.A. in Graphic Design. After graduating, she focused on caring for her son, Clay, who needed complete care, alongside his two younger brothers. Clay lived fourteen intense, beautiful years until his death in 2011.