I did not want to write this today. I balked and whined a bit when the title first came to me. I was still a bit sleepy and filling the coffee pot. My instant reaction was not today! But God gave me an extra nudge, so here I am, telling you something painful, but apparently necessary for someone else’s benefit. My calling for today.
Tuesday marks the anniversary of my mother’s death. 1999…can it really be that long ago and still bring tears to my eyes? All of you who have lost a loved one, especially a parent, know the answer. We are forever children at heart and feel an instant kinship with all orphans, regardless of how long we were blessed to enjoy the care and love of our parent. But there seems to be an extra sense of loss attached when that parent dies during the holidays. I remember well the pain and despair at the sight of Mom’s empty chair at that first Thanksgiving dinner without her. Yes, we gathered together in her honor, but I could not take my eyes off that chair, nor the funeral plants that graced the side table behind it.
I know that many of you will have a similar experience this week and again as Christmas is celebrated. I can tell you that the pain lessens over time and there is still much for which to be thankful. You will find joy again…but I would also encourage you to appreciate everyone at your table while they are still occupying their chairs.