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.
I absolutely loved this book. Perhaps it is the Canadian-living-in-the-states self talking here, but it made me long for my home in Southern Alberta. Growing up, my father was the maintenance supervisor for the schools in the area. This included the school at two or three of the Hutterite colonies in the area. He would often take me with him on his visits to the colonies. I loved it there and was mesmerized by every nuance of the colony. The baking bread, the chickens roaming free, the homes, the smells, the polka-dots, the braids. I loved going with him. My mother made trips as well. We would often go to purchase eggs, knitted booties and slippers, pick up newly upholstered furniture, and chickens. Every time, we were invited into someone's home to sit down for a visit. Secretly, I wanted to BE a Hutterite just so I could twist my hair back and put on a handkerchief. This book was a trip home for me and I adored it. Mary Ann Kirby is a gifted writer who was able to capture growing up on the colony and later outside of the colony in a way I will not soon forget. I can't wait to make the drive to Canada this summer and visit a colony.
Reading Right Now...
The Alloy of Law: The fourth book in the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson. Something tells me it isn't going to have the same effect on me as the trilogy!
The Kitchen House
Just Finished Reading
Oh my goodness! I owe Jessica Romney a HUGE thank you for recommending this series. I was skeptical at first. But, am so glad I chose to give the Mistborn series a try. Brandon Sanderson is an amazing author. I am now open to a new genre...fantasy. This series though, had even more than fantasy. I felt some strong spiritual undertones throughout this particular (#3) book. I even got a little "misty" at the end. I loved these books. Thanks, Jessica. I owe you and will never question your recommendations again! :)
Also Just Finished Reading...
The author, Sue E. Peterson, is a friend of mine. She sent me this book shortly after the heartbreaking loss of my own husband. It had many wonderful points for me to consider as I read about death and making sense of a new/different life. I appreciated so much of what she said and the metaphors regarding "running" throughout the book. I've never read a book by an author I know (and know very well) personally. Nor, have I read a story based on a person I know and have had conversations with. It was an odd feeling in some respects. Reading different names for each character and each setting sort of messed with my brain a bit. Finally, I put that out of my mind and read with the purpose of gleaning insight about losing a spouse and recovery from grief. I have many turned down pages I'd like to revisit as a result. Thanks for the book, Sue!