‘Missing you’ is the weirdest phrase. Jeremy Sherman, an evolutionary epistemologist, says that “missing” is a contranym, one word with two opposite meanings. Missing means to be either connected or disconnected.
Never is that more true than in military life. Missing someone teaches you that you are always connected or disconnected from the one you love.
Missing someone can always mean that you regret their absence or even that you just notice their absence. You miss them. You pine for them. You long for them. You yearn for them. You wish for them. Like, I really, really miss you when I wake up in the night to cuddle next to you and you aren’t there. That’s missing someone.
In military life, you can also be aware of the other meanings of the word miss. To miss something can mean you failed to be there. Like you missed my birthday or you missed our son’s entire basketball season.
To miss something can mean that you did not hear, or see or understand something. Like, you missed what I meant when I said I was FINE.
To be missed can be the greatest blessing. Like, I could hear the bullet pass but it missed me.
To give something a miss can mean that you are avoiding something. Like, I’m going to give that email from the ship a miss because I know it is nothing but tasking.
But a miss can also be a failure to make contact. Like, you missed a chance to bring us closer by focusing on where I went to dinner instead of on the fact that once again I was alone.
Missing your beloved is always a topic for Tumblr or Pinterest and the emails of every military couple missing each other in any way. Here are a few of my favorite missing you quotes:
“Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell.” ~Edna St Vincent Millay
“I just… I just miss him. And hate being so alone. Does he miss me? He must.” ~Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games.
“Whoever thought up the phrase ‘Absence makes the heart grow founder’ was an idiot. Absence makes a bitch go crazy.” ~Toni Aleo, Taking Shots.
“Your absence has gone through me. Like thread through a needle. Everything I do is stitched with its color.” ~W.S. Merwin, Separation
“Maybe you don’t need the whole world to love you. Maybe you just need one person.” ~Kermit the Frog
“You can decorate absence however you want- but your still gonna feel what’s missing.” ~Siobhan Vivian, Same Difference
“But now, I know, how absence can be present, like a damaged nerve, like a dark bird.” ~Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler’s Wife
Deployment has a way of teaching us a lot about missing someone. We have done this often enough now that I know the missing you is just part of the process. We miss each other in so many ways. But the important thing is to use the pain of the missing to bring us back together.
“Come in the evening, or coming in the morning/Come when you’re looked for, or come without warning/Kisses and welcomes you’ll find here before you/And the oftener you come here the more I’ll adore you. ~Thomas O. Davis