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There Is This Pang

Written By: Lauren Howard

There is this pang. 

I’m usually sitting there, giggling about something fun. 

Maybe some of my writing is getting attention. Maybe I got accolades on something I worked on. Maybe the kids did something funny. Maybe I got a new speaking gig. 

Or maybe, like right now, we’re on the verge of something big and amazing and fully unbelievable. 

I search through my phone because I want to tell someone, but I never really find the right person. I definitely find people who will celebrate or giggle with me. I’m lucky that way. 

But it’s never entirely satisfying. I sit and spin and wonder why that conversation with the positive feedback that I was looking for is never the right conversation. 

Then, it hits me. It always hits me. 

It’s not you. It’s not your predictable but gratifying exclamation of “No feces!” or “Youuuu’reeeee kidding!” 

It’s not you calling me to find out how it’s going at a frequency that borders on irritating but usually stays juuuuust on the lovely side. 

It’s not you telling everyone that you run into that I did a thing, no matter how small, and it’s the most important news they will hear all day. 

It’s not you. 

I should be used to it not being you. It’s been seven-and-a-half years since I last saw your eyes light up and grow to the size of saucers while your mouth got tiny. Your delighted face was so distinctive. It’s one of the things I miss most about you. 

Okay. It is, but only in that there are a literal million things I miss most about you. 

If you love someone who loved someone, you might notice that there always seems to be a hint of melancholy in everything great. It’s because even the best things still come with empty space.

You hold it open because it’s better to have empty space that you loved hard to create than it is to not have had that person to begin with. 

We had an unpredictable week full of amazing things, Dad. 

And I just want to be able to pick up the phone and tell you. After all this time, I’m starting to settle in to the fact that talking to the empty space is what we have right now. At least the space is there, though, because it means you came before it. 

You’re the direct inspiration for everything incredible that is to come. I was lucky enough to have you and other people should have that support. This is just me paying it forward. 

So thanks. And I miss you.


Founder & CEO at elletwo


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