Just a couple of months ago I became very home sick. And not just a little home sick, but crying over friends, family, and memories of being with them. I’m well into my forties and have no desire to go back home at this age, so I found this very odd about myself.
One of the people I was feeling and seeing was my mother's best friend's husband, Henry. I never grew tired of his gentle, loveable ways with us; because I did not grow up with a father figure, he filled this role for me.
Henry would always play a game with his children and myself when we would become too much for him to handle. He would tell us all, "The first one to fall asleep wins!" I would always play to win and did win many times.
So, this feeling that I was having got worse and worse. I had to call my mom for something completely unrelated and at first the conversation was just about the random little things we like to talk about. But then, guess what she told me: that Henry had passed away last week.
I burst into tears so hard I had to pull the car over to gather myself. I then let her know why I was taking this so hard. I told her of the way I was feeling so home sick and thinking of him and his family how we would all play together. The memories of the late night Elvis marathons during which he would have to carry us to the car still asleep.
My mother and I both cried and talked about the memories of our past. We believe that we have these empathetic abilities for a reason—they help us to be a little less hurt and more prepared for things to come. We both knew that this was something truly amazing to have experienced.