As our fingertips mindlessly click away, our thoughts are never quite in the present moment.  Instead they are wandering the depths of our memories.  Clinging to those moments of the past.  The past where we never quite fully appreciated those present moments.  Those moments we took for granted without ever realizing our carelessness.

Where one clicks away at the remote flipping from one channel to the next without ever truly paying attention to the flickering on the screen, the other clicks away with their fingertips as letters blur across the screen and an arrow periodically flies searching from side to side.

It’s in these moments of separation, when the bombardment of daytime obligations begin to calm, that we are left with the pain and deafening roar of not being together.  One might believe that after years and years of an empty spot next to us as we crawl into bed, more nights than not, that we’d grow accustom to it and actually find the spot next to us occupied as odd but quite the opposite has manifested itself.

There was a time, for months and months on end, when the most time I’d see my husband on any given day was with his  eyelids closed as he had already drifted off to sleep with a textbook left abandoned as it rested pressing against his chest marking the page where he fell asleep.  Few words passed between us during those months as our paths simply crossed when we drifted off exhausted, side by side.  Silence.

Years later, circumstances developed which made our time apart even longer.  Those nights, when I folded back the blanket and laid down…I longed with such intensity that he’d appear at bedtime even if it was just to be able to silently snuggle my husband once again at night.  I realized then just how little I had appreciated the crumbs of time given to us before as we simply slept side by side.  I realized then how much I took for granted and rather than be thankful, I was often left irritated for not having more.

As so many others posted what they were thankful for yesterday, it left me thinking….and thinking.  There’s an enormous list that I’m thankful for these days that would never find itself complete.  But…

I’m thankful for my children as I peek in on each one of them sleeping and trace the sign of the cross on their forehead.  Each of them are safe, healthy, warm, and well fed.

I’m thankful for the ice scraper that was left on my driver seat at 4:30am because it meant my husband spent his last moments in the driveway thinking about me before heading off to work as he rummaged in the dark.

I’m thankful for waking up each morning while my husband is on a trip to a text telling me, “Good morning”.  He woke up thinking about me.

I’m thankful for all the hard work my husband does outside of our home so that I can spend each day working hard in our home.

I’m thankful for the sim instructors who find it frustrating that they cannot make my husband stumble in his flying as they add one devastating situation after another to his flight simulation – determined to find a weakness…but never do.  They will never allow my husband to become complacent.

I’m thankful for each and every time Les takes off and lands his plane without needing to use the experience he’s developed in the simulator.

I’m thankful for the fingers that hunted in the dark for my hand because he was too sick and too exhausted to speak any words.  I love you too and I know you wish you weren’t so tired and weak from a cold so you could stay up talking to me before you leave on another trip.  I understand.

Many times it’s the words between the silence that say the most.