While I am frequently reminded of Caleb’s absence, nothing drives it home more than seeing his friends and peers starting their careers, getting married, and having children. Some of them already have two kids!
I cannot help but wonder who my lovely daughter-in-law would have been. Would they be married yet? I imagine they would be here for a day around Christmas, laughing and playing board games or cards. My extra seating and guest bedroom would have a purpose.
Would they have a child? Caleb would be 26 years old. When I was 26 years old, he was born. It seems entirely possible that I should be a grandfather by now, or at least hopes of it soon. I loved having babies in the house. I became known as the Sandman, one who brings peaceful sleep, because of my knack for getting others’ kids to sleep when they were having difficulty.
These secondary losses plague me. After the morning excitement, I sit here for hours with nothing to do on Christmas but wonder what this day should be like. I hear the clock slowly ticking away each second until eventually a minute elapses. My body longs for his presence and screams into the void occupying his space. The minutes take days off my life as I try to let it pass. He should be here, and so should his bride and child one day. The minutes turn into hours. I am now the antithesis of a Sandman, having neither the gift of peace nor sleep.