If we were an alphabet then thre’d be mssing ltters by now.


“Life’s gotten so crazy.”

That’s what we say to one another. When it comes to passing by. When we haven’t seen each other in a while. When the text messages have piled. When we collide in aisle 7 and we think to search the shelves of canned food for all the time we’ve lost.

“Life’s gotten so crazy, we really need to catch up soon.”

That’s the stake we drive into the ground, like the building of a white, picket fence that separates You from Me and Us from feelings that fit like sun dresses just yesterday when we weren’t so afraid of what Forever could feel like on the fingertips.

It’s an excuse. It’s a white flag on a battle field full of To Do Lists that never stop firing their cannons and calendars overflowing with the things we vow to be important for the moment. I’ll just be the honest one: It’s been far too long since I’ve seen your name circled beside a cup of tea I’ve doodled in the box reserved for Sunday afternoons. Those Sunday afternoons used to belong to you, my dear.

“Life’s gotten so crazy. I’ve missed you so much. We really should talk more soon. We really need to catch up soon.”

That’s what I told you yesterday as I clutched my foaming latte and headed for the door. That’s what I told you instead of the truth. The truth that I am beginning to misplace the pitch in your voice. The truth that if we were an alphabet then there’d be letters missing by now. Rnning amuck, with less than prfect syllbles, I’d stll try to tll you I’ve mssed you. That I am terribly terrified of the day when I wake up to find I’ve misplaced your laughter and all the sweet things you used to say to me when either life wasn’t so crazy or we simply didn’t care to notice.

It was yesterday, as I walked away from your table to get to a meeting I thought needed me more than you, that I stopped at a red light and let the thought of your face flood my memory. I thought sweet tea. A bowl of peanuts by our side. Kittens dancing in the yard. You and I when the air was ripe enough for secrets and honesty.  And I clutched my breath and told myself, when was the last time I told you that I loved you? And I meant it more than just a hurried, frazzled 3-word statement? When was the last time I told you that you’ve made this whole thing better? That I keep you safe in memory and I think of you more than my calendar will permit me to admit.

We’re living in a God Forbid world, my dear.

God forbid, God forbid, something should happen. In a park. In a movie theater. In a school. At a race. And I wouldn’t see you any longer. And you’d never pluck my face out of a crowd again. And one of us would spend some kind of eternity wishing we’d said more, did more, tried more to hold all the pieces together even when life got so crazy.

I don’t want to wait for my Twitter feed to coax me to turn on the news and see all the people crying over yet another tragedy. I don’t want to let it get that far– to fill my bones with fear that someone has hurt you, or wronged you, or taken you away from me— to call you on the phone and crawl into your voice mail with the whispers I’ve carried with me since yesterday:

Hey you.

I hope you’ll get this message. I hope you’ll pick up soon and tell me straight that it was some kind of mistake. That you are doing just fine. That I’ve nothing to fear.

Call me back and pull me in with your laughter. I can’t go a lifetime thinking the world might rob me of that sound forever. Call me back and say anything.

Just call me back. Please call me back.

I’ll stay here. I’ll stay here just clutching my phone. I’ll wait for you, don’t worry. I’ve not go nowhere to go. Really. Just waiting for you to arrive at my door and tell me it was confusion. Confusion, yes. Chaos, yes. A tragedy, yes. But that you got out so safely. And you thought of me… and your mother… and your brother… and your friends the whole way through.

That when the cell service went down you were searching for ways to let me know that it was all a mistake. And that you loved me too. And that we were going to forget about life tomorrow and just lay in bed all day.

Come back, please. Come back to me and I promise to lay with my head against your chest and ask you no questions.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Does it even make sense to say that now? I’ll try calling you back. Again & again & again. I’ll get good at pretending that I ain’t just calling to hear your voice tell me that you aren’t here right now, that you’ll call back soon, as soon as you get this message.

I’m waiting. I’m waiting. Get the message. Did you get the message?

Call me back and say anything.

Just call me back.

Please call me back.

8 thoughts on “If we were an alphabet then thre’d be mssing ltters by now.

  1. My son went to a different movie theater on July 20. A group of his friends sat in theater 8 and theater 9 , one mile from our house. One of his classmates from high school died that night.

    We watched the horror unfold at the finish line in Boston. The young boy that was killed was my son’s age when I crossed the finish line of my first marathon.

    We still get to say I love you to each other as the world slips away.

  2. I love you, Hannah. Thank you for a Powerful reminder to MAKE TIME for each other. And there IS time, if we allow it. Re-prioritize. That’s what volunteering in Belize & other developing countries has taught me; places that are SLOWER & value PEOPLE more than POSSESSIONS. It seems that CRAZY BUSY is worn like a Badge of Honor. HUGS to us all. xoox, Kristin

  3. Oh Hannah, your wise soul has enlightened us once again. My dad passed away in January, and prior to his passing, my biggest fear was losing him, losing anyone close to me really. Initially, I had a flood of regrets choke hold me and punch me in the gut … why didn’t I tell him that I loved him more? Why didn’t I take the time to dust off the bicycle he fixed for me years ago, and go riding with him? Why did he have to leave before my future children got to meet him, or before he had the chance to walk me down the aisle? I look back now, just a few months have passed, and still have a twinge of longing here and there. But thankfully, I’m letting go of the regret. The memory of the best dad I could ever ask for, coupled with the indelible mark he left on this world, drives me to be the kind of daughter who is worthy of being HIS daughter. Your message is indeed a powerful reminder that we have to stop ourselves daily, and think about our true missions in life. To connect with people, serve as many as we can reach, and hopefully do our part in creating a positive shift in the world. You, my friend, are doing just that! Bless you for being the beautifully loving soul that you are, and for leading a life that inspires others to love harder.
    ❤ you, Wendy (Team Maui MLL Crusaders)

  4. I got chills reading this. Thank you, Hannah for reminding us to cherish friendships/relationship and to make most of the time we have been given.

  5. Time is of the essence…ALWAYS! I am so guilty of just what you said…making awful excuses. It’s a reminder to me! Thank you!

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