Mommy, the table looks so pretty. Red and green and festive for the holidays. I like the fancy plates and I’m going to do my best to keep my cloth napkin all clean. But mommy, why do we have that empty chair?
The empty chair is for your grandpa. Honestly, holidays weren’t his favorite. A large crowd and family dynamics made him nervous. When he did join us though, he’d have a lot of fun with the kids. You better believe he always found him a place at the table too.
The empty chair is for my grandpa. If we served up turkey at a holiday meal, we’d always save the drumstick for him. We had huge family gatherings, so that drumstick could be pretty big. He had no trouble polishing it off.
The empty chair is for Grandma Lucy. I’m so glad you knew her. She was always busy in the kitchen during our holiday dinners, but you’d find her seated at the table for two different reasons; while we were eating, and when a Scrabble game commenced.
The empty chair is for Grandma-Great. By the time you came along, she didn’t host family dinners anymore. Even as her mind grew more forgetful, she never forgot the happiness she felt when all of her family got together.
The empty chair is for another great grandma. The one who passed away days before you were born. I can still see her proud smile as she sat in a chair and looked out at all the aunts, uncles and cousins. As she was so fond of saying, “If it weren’t for me, this wouldn’t be.”
You see little one, our loved ones never have to be forgotten. Together, we remember them every holiday, and other times throughout the year, when we tell their stories. The empty chair reminds us.