I miss…

It’s the little things that I miss, like getting dressed in the morning.

I miss opening my iPad on Saturday evenings to check the weekly weather before picking out my clothes for the week. I miss standing at my closet and deciding which shirt works best with which skirt or pants. I miss deciding which pieces of Paparazzi jewelry I will wear with which outfit. I miss applying my color-stay Matte lipstick to my lips and thinking, “Dang, this color looks bomb on me!” I miss doing a once-over in the mirror, checking to make sure my curves popped just right and my hair fell as it should.

I miss getting frustrated because I have such a long day ahead of me.

Mondays I opened and closed at the branch and then headed to either a board meeting or a women’s ministry meeting at 7pm. Tuesdays involved a mad dash from the branch to church to teach teenagers about the Bible. Wednesdays- my favorite day of the week- saw me racing over to the middle school to assist with mentoring and yearbook publication… while also spending girl time with my favorite educators. Thursdays were anything but simple and often involved writing or preparing for Sunday’s church service. Fridays (these were the days that I lived for) were typically an evening spent with my girls or an evening with my guy. Fridays never disappointed. Saturdays were normally reflective. How do I prepare for the week to come? Have I done everything that I needed to do for Sunday? Did I nap today? And, finally, Sundays- the Lord’s day. This day was normally spent in two church services while I secretly tried my hardest to stay awake during the second service (see? Yesterday’s nap would have been helpful!).

I miss holding my niece’s hand.

Sophia, affectionately known as my Lil’ Butterfly, is probably my best friend (sorry Amy!). She is eight years old and she is the smarter, more beautiful, and sassier version of me. I taught her how to stick her tongue out at people (fight the power, Butter!) and how to look at herself in the mirror (love and respect what you see, Sophia). She gets all of her defiant traits from me… and I couldn’t be prouder! She has a heart for God and a mind of her own. She knows what she loves and she knows what she dislikes. She loves to dance and sing, appreciates a good lip gloss, and poses with her [invisible] hip poked out in every picture. She is my heartbeat outside of my heart.

I miss the beauty of my happy place(s).

I am not loyal to my happy place, hence why I have so many. Sorry, not sorry. I miss driving to Harpers Ferry and standing at the bank of the water, peering as far as my prescription glasses will take me. I miss walking through the elephant exhibits at the National Zoo in DC and admiring how they roam without a care in the world. I miss standing at the base of the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial bust and gazing up at the man who worked tirelessly for me to have some of the liberties that I have now. I miss walking through the butterfly exhibit at the big Smithsonian, getting lost in the wing flutterings of my tiny friends. I miss walking through the 70s decade/section of the African American museum thinking, “This was my real decade!” I miss sunny drives with my windows down as I crank Lecrae and Guvna B and take in all the pollen that I often forget that I am allergic to.

I miss rainy days with my friends.

I miss showing up at the home of a friend, decked out in a hoodie and some sweatpants, and plopping myself on their couch as we eat So Delicious ice cream and chocolate hummus. I miss watching cheesy Lifetime/Hallmark movies (come on, we all know how the storyline will go!) and being filled with joy when the couple overcomes the obstacles set before them. I miss playing with my dog-pal, Sampson, and “hearing” him vent about how his owner doesn’t rub his belly like I do (I love you, Sampson… and family!). I love showing up (often with no invitation) and helping myself to whatever food is in the fridge. I miss being able to walk over to one friend’s house and then proceeding to walk and talk about our cares and concerns.

I miss dates.

I miss getting all dolled up and stepping out with my guy (or my girls) and spending a night on the town. I miss spending hours in the days prior needlessly fretting over what I will wear and then ultimately deciding to rock some jeans and a cute shirt. I miss holding his hand as we walk to and from our destination. I miss calling up Melanie and saying, “Whatchu doing chick? Let’s go out!” I miss coming in at all hours of the night (which, in my 30s, means around midnight, lol) and dragging my tired body into the shower before crawling into bed for the evening. I miss slipping on my eye cover-thingy and trying desperately to block out the light around me… before the darn thing falls off in my sleep.

I miss laughter, hearty laughter.

I miss sitting next to my two deaconess friends on Sunday morning and cutting up with them. One of them is my candy supplier and she hates supplying me with candy and gum. Every week I harass her and every week she rolls her eyes and says “no” before cracking a smile and passing her sugar bag. The other one freezes me out when she fans herself during service. Hot flashes- a fun privilege of having friends who are older than I am. She fans herself because she is hot and I give her a blank stare because I’m freezing at that time. She shrugs her shoulders and I laugh. These women, my sisters and friends. So when the pastor says, “Turn to your neighbor…” I am always looking back at two of the greatest and most loving women in the world whose smiles warm my heart in the best way. I miss listening to the members of the ministerial staff as they joke back and forth with one another as playful siblings often do. I miss the sports banter that goes on behind our closed pastoral door. I’m sure people think that so much seriousness goes on back there, but the truth is, we are often back there ribbing each other for our football team picks (GO RAVENS!). I miss my sister plucking me as she passes me during Sunday service… and me contemplating how I can trip her without being judged by those around me (big sisters always mess with the baby!).

I miss writing about things other than the reaction to this pandemic. I miss warm hugs and meaningful conversations. I miss so many things, things that I didn’t even know I was missing until Friday night when God placed this piece in my heart. But even though I miss so many things, I see that God is making room for so many new things in my heart. As my dad so wisely said, “Limitations birth creativity.”

I miss… but I make room for new.

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