Sunday, October 7, 2012


Every Sunday we have "family dinner".  Both girls and their husbands have always come.  Occasionally, Melissa comes with her girls from SLC.  And, if we're lucky, one of the other kids are in town and they come too.  When Terry and I were talking about getting married and what our future would look like, we always knew that we wanted to have a Sunday dinner tradition.  And so it was and is still.

Only, now there is an empty chair.  It sits at the "head" of the table (I'm at the other).  It sits there. Empty.  Like the flashing light of a hotel vacancy sign.  Every Sunday.  No one ever sits there because it's "his" chair.

Today that chair stood empty once again only, this time, it was our first Canadian Thanksgiving without him.  He was always so excited for Canadian Thanksgiving because we would usually invite 30 or so friends, neighbors, and family to celebrate with us.  He'd hang our gigantic Canadian flag, with more duct tape than you can shake a stick at, in the middle of our front room window.  He'd make everyone laugh and make everyone feel important as he really listened to what they had to say.  He'd most likely send something home with someone...or two.  Then he'd eat the red jello, white chocolate cheesecake, and anything laced with sugar until he was sick.  Then he'd eat more.  Then he'd tell me, "That was the BEST meal I've ever had!"  And I'd tell him he said that EVERY year.  Eyeroll.  Laughter.  Love.

I missed that today.  For my sanity, I had to scale it back this time.  The girls and their husbands were here.  And, of course, Eloise.  Making it six of us rather than 30+.  The food was delicious.  We talked and laughed and missed the person who should have been sitting in that empty chair at the head of our family table.  I miss him terribly.  But, at this Thanksgiving time I am thankful for him. I am so very thankful.  More than words could ever say.  It's hard to realize that tears can't bring him back nor fill his empty chair.  But, they can help me remember him and wet my cheeks with love.

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