Sometimes, I don’t miss Robb.
(My love, I’m sorry for that sentence. It’s just that it’s true… I don’t always. You mattered and you matter; I loved you and I love you; and there are times when I don’t miss you and – always more shocking to me – I don’t feel sorry for not missing you.)
I don’t miss him when I’m in a social scene that he would have hated, when I know he would have looked at me from across the room and subtly lowered his eyelids to tell me he was tired and would I please, please, please wrap this thing up and begin my farewell tour.
I don’t miss him when I’ve had a great date or a fun conversation or a spark of interest in a man. Not quite surprisingly, that’s not something I want to tell him about. And sometimes, when I’m looking for silver linings, I think about the unexpected gift that is mine: I get to fall in love again. The butterflies, first kiss, hours of infatuated conversation, learning someone new – the stuff dreams are made of – I might get to do it again.
Sometimes I don’t miss him. But one thing I’ll never stop missing is his friendship.
I had a safe place beside him, guaranteed mine, always open if I was willing to slow down and settle in. Whenever I needed to find my place in the world, I turned to Robb. When a friend hurt my feelings, when insecurities ran rampant and I didn’t know where I belonged, I could turn to him. My hypersocial tendencies kept me running with a full calendar, and he was always glad to have me back.
Off my computer, away from texting. Unplugged, we called it.
I could close the door against the world, and I could know just where I fit, just where I belonged – his arms around me, his chin resting on the crown of my head. I could know the one who knew me.
You know what’s crazy? It’s the book deals and endorsements and speaking engagements that are making me a little fuzzy around the edges, wishing for boundaries while I wonder how big this might get. Who knew ‘dreams come true’ bring insecurity and careful footing? Who knew that when your world doubles in size, it’s even more comforting to have an extra snug and cozy spot at the end of the day?
Robb could hold me. Contain me. I could find my own boundaries, feel grounded and safe again. I miss the gracious silence that said, ‘Hey, I know you. This is where you belong.’
And tonight I miss that friendship.