You never know what you have until it’s gone.
Beverly had always thought that expression was ridiculous for people like her. She had never taken her loved ones for granted, always told them she loved them and made sure to spend time with them.
Now she knew different.
No matter how much time you have, it’s never enough. After it’s over, you always want one more minute, one more hug, one more smile. One more…
The realization that you’ll never see someone you love again makes you think of all the things you wished you’d said or done, even if you thought you’d said and done it all. Because you never can.
There is never enough time to say everything you want, and need, to say.
And when you’d been with a person for fifty years, and could still say there were things left unsaid, then Beverly knew that expression was not ridiculous after all.
Every minute of every day, she thought of Charles. He was there with her when she brushed her teeth, reminding her to floss. He was at the kitchen table when she had a cup of coffee, reaching for the sports section of the paper. He was on the couch beside her in the evening watching a favorite show. He was in the bed each night, snoring.
Each moment Beverly started to say something to him and the pain would pour in anew. Those same things that used to drive her crazy now brought a wistful smile to her face. She wished he were there so she could argue with him over something stupid, pick up his dirty socks off the floor, and laugh at his politics.
She wished he were there to talk to period.
She still couldn’t believe it was real. It had been three weeks, but it felt like minutes. He was there one minute, and then, in the blink of an eye, he was gone. Vanished. Taken by some random act of violence.
The police said he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. That the drive by shooting could not have been predicted.
Beverly knew all this, but it didn’t help. Even knowing the guys in the car had been killed the next night by a rival gang didn’t help. None of it brought Charles back.
And if she heard one more person say time healed and things would get better, she just might shoot them herself.
Time wouldn’t bring Charles back. Time wouldn’t let her feel his arms around her again. Time wouldn’t bring his smile, his laugh, his love back to her.
You never know what you have until it’s gone…