And on Sundays, I miss you the most.
Sundays here used to start with comforting-familiar-early-morning-kitchen-noises.
Sounds of clinking earth-toned-handmade-mugs that hold the smells of coffee. Those mugs have our names on the bottom and the fingerprints of a friend from the mountains of North Carolina.
On Sundays, you and your favorite slippers used to quietly nudge the creaky door to our room. Balancing the mugs and a cup of milk on the hand-painted-breakfast-tray. You’d bring the milk in a separate little cup because you know that one of the most overlooked, most beautiful little things in the world, is the way milk swirls in coffee. (Number 175 in my book of favorite things).
Sundays used to involve me taking a tiny bit too long to get dressed and you collecting the car keys from the funky hooks downstairs as I skipped out the door. We’d listen to NPR on the way to church or one of our favorite CDs. Or just talk. And hold hands. Mostly, all the time.
We’d sit in our “normal seats” just a few rows up on the right. There is something comforting in being a regular. And something comforting in the routine of worshiping and praying and remembering to keep things in perspective. On a daily basis, but especially on Sundays. Hitting re-set.
Sunday afternoons involved outside adventures with bikes or boots or climbing gear. Inside adventures with movies and forts and new recipes and lots of music. Sundays often involved laundry and fresh towels and list-making for the next few days. And sometimes (more than I’d like to admit) Sunday also involved hours studying by the window while you read or cooked or reminded me that everything was going to be okay. Again.
Sometimes, Sundays held the voices of family members, voices farther from Tennessee than I’d like. After watching-the-evening-light-fade by the river, Sundays ended early because Mondays started early. Your boots by the door and my books tucked under my desk. Ready for another day.
You’ve been away for just over two months now. I read your thoughts and see your face through a screen with about 10 hours of time between my now and your now.
I still catch myself thinking you’re just in the kitchen. I still wait for the clinking-mug-sound or for the shower to turn on. Now I open the curtains and dust off the picture frames and sticky notes and water the plants (although, I’ve learned they are happier with less water). I still drink coffee- reusing one favorite handmade mug over and over each week. I get up early on my own on Sundays because I have a hard time sleeping in this bed without your heartbeat to my right.
I come home to this house just on the weekends now. Sleeping in Nashville during the week so I can walk to the hospital and walk to class. So I can have the wonderful company and the happy-friend-noises that fill the room when my roommate comes home or when I return from a 12 hour shift.
I still go to our church and sit in our seats, just a few rows up on the right. I’m still always just a little bit late. And everyone there seems to know that you will be back. They smile and nod when they see me with my sticky-note-picture-filled-journal. They pray for you too.
And you will be back. And we will go on walks. And there will be new recipes and music and adventures and less studying by the window and even more hand holding than before.
And most days here are still full of beautiful things and lots of thanks. Sundays are still great too.
The milk still swirls in my coffee. And a pair of your boots still sit by the door.
I think on Sundays, though, I just miss you the most.
With all my love,
Sara Bates King