This Empty House

Drywall. Concrete. Stuff. That’s what’s in this house. This ominous silence could not possibly be louder. My wife and son are staying with her parents in Paso Robles for an extra week as this Covid situation is hopefully starting to slow down. I had to come home without them to go back to work for 72 hours, which is why they stayed. I love my job. If I went back in time and told 12 year old me that “you are going to be a firefighter and bomb technician when you’re a grown up,” I probably would have actually peed my pants in excitement! However, as I think back to 10AM this morning when my 3 year old asked me “But you’re coming back soon, right daddy?” Followed by, “but I’m gonna miss you.” Then, the visual memory of him running on the grass parallel with my car and waving to me while yelling “Bye bye daddy I love you!” as I made my way down the driveway, hits me in the chest like a ton of bricks on a freight train moving at the speed of light (hard. It hits me hard). I could have sworn that I had my tear ducts and “feelings” removed from my body years ago, but suddenly I’m starting to think that’s not accurate. I have a job to do and swore an oath that I’d do it. I love doing it, as a matter of fact. But, days like today make it difficult. Days like today make it crystal clear that I have to be a grown up and do my job, despite how I feel about missing my family. My father was in the military, so I know it could be worse. Thankfully I don’t ever have to spend months away... but as I walk around this empty house, I realize that it’s all just stuff in this place without my loved ones. As I put away a bin of legos my son left on the table, I laughed at how I thought a night of peace and quiet would be a nice break. Yet all I want this second is to hear Logan’s voice asking if he really had to go to bed, for the 15th time. It blows my mind to think of what we and so many others have gone through and sacrificed in order to have our kids. With that said, I couldn’t imagine life without him. And the silence and emptiness in this building right now is a testament to that.

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