The True Value of One’s Presence

A few months ago, a member of my family went missing for 12 hours. It was the longest 12 hours of my life. I wrote this poem after the sun set and he had already been missing for 11 hours.

The house has been cold all day

No one has turned the heat on

We won’t feel warm until you return, anyways.

I watched the rain fall and cried as raindrops hit the ground.

I imagined your cold shivering body, your clothes providing no form of protection.

You belong here, under this roof, watching the rain fall.

I shouted your name out of my car window as I drove to dead-end streets trying to find you.

Fear tells me the worst has already happened to you. Optimism tells me you’re safe. Both try to out-talk the other, neither is winning.

I’m crying just like the clouds in this city…we both weep for you. Please come home. Make the rain stop.

Minutes after I finished this poem, the police brought him home. There’s a happy ending to this story but this is also a reminder that you never truly feel the weight of someone’s presence until they’re gone. Show gratitude and remember to actively love the people in your life.

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