Common, every day things are what you miss the most when you lose someone close to you. When they lived in the same home as you and you shared every day experiences, there is a hole where they once were. Rituals, daily habits, and just the pace of life changes because nothing ever seems normal again.
When I wake in the morning, there is an instant void because the first thing we did was get Austin up for school. In the afternoons, my phone is quiet, where texts and calls from him once filled the space. The empty chair at dinner reminds us again of his absence. At night, we lie in bed, waiting for him to come in and tell us good night and that he loves us. No matter what we do or where we go, we miss him and are reminded of Austin.
I miss Austin as a whole, as my son, as Noah's big brother. But there are special things, unique to him, and reasons I loved him that I miss too.
His laugh - Austin had this bold, big laugh that was loud and full of joy. He loved to laugh and didn't hold back if he enjoyed something. It is something I loved about him because most of the time I spent watching him enjoying whatever we were doing. He truly loved life and soaked up every moment. Our house seems quiet now and empty without it here, filling the air.
His hugs - Austin hugged me every day. I braced myself every day for it to stop, because being a teenager, I figured it would. Sometimes I got several in one day, sometimes just a few but never a day passed that he didn't hug me. In the past couple of years he shot up and towered over me. His one arm enveloped my shoulders, embracing me in a tender hug. Occasionally, I'd get a peck on the cheek too..but that was sometimes pushing it. I'd give anything for one of those great hugs now.
His smile - Austin had a beautiful smile and like his laugh, it would light up a room. His eyes twinkled when he smiled. And when he smiled, it was either a full smile - almost open mouth, laugh included...or a sweet, simple smile, no teeth. Most of the pictures I have of him are like the latter. He didn't like to smile with full teeth for the camera. Why, I don't know, because he had beautiful teeth.
His eyes - Austin had soft, brown, puppy dog eyes that could melt your heart. From the start, he had me wrapped around his little finger. He could look up at me as a toddler - or down at me as a teen, with those sad little eyes, pleading for whatever he wanted and he had it before he even really asked. They say eyes are the pathway to the soul and you could look into Austin's and see light, love and kindness.
His ears - I miss Austin's exceptional listening skills. He could've made an excellent counselor one day because he truly listened with his heart. He tuned into everything, could sense when something was wrong with someone. I could never hide much from him because he knew right away if I were sad or upset about something. He was my sounding board for many things and even though he was only 14, he had wisdom far beyond his years. He could always give me a perspective I couldn't get anywhere else. He must've been a great listener with his friends too because I heard that from so many of them. His ears sometimes got him in trouble though because he tuned into to conversations he shouldn't have at times...If Tim and I whispered, Austin's ears were on full alert!
I miss talking about our day, hearing about something funny that happened at school, laughing together, watching the boys wrestle on the floor, seeing him grow taller each day, the smell of his cologne, silly text messages, my co-pilot in the truck, learning the latest gadget/website/or other techno-thing, hearing the newest funny song he's downloaded, beating him in Guitar Hero, breaking up another fight between him and Noah, resting on his shoulder as we watched tv in my bed, never learning how to play Chess, cooking his favorite meals and letting him jokingly complain about it, tickling his feet, seeing his cell phone stuck to his ear, watching him play sports, buying him whatever he couldn't make it another moment without, just being with him...