empty chair?

Chrismas 2018

“It’s sad being there without Grampa. I miss him.” Grace whispered.

“I miss him, too.”

We were heading home after spending the day at my Mom’s celebrating Christmas with my brothers, sister and all my nieces and nephews. We hadn’t gathered together at my Mom’s for Christmas since my Dad passed away in 2019.

Standard protocol for any family gathering is pictures. So before two of my nephews headed out, I ever so gently ordered everyone to gather around my Mom for a picture. My Mom sat in one of the two shaker rockers that my Dad had designed, crafted and made with his own hands in his basement workshop.

Earlier in the day, she had booted Billy right out of that chair, “That’s mine!” she laughed, motioning to Billy to get up. “That’s the Queen’s chair!” my brother informed him. Billy promptly stood, rising as if he’d sat on a tack. All the grands gathered around our Queen. “Quick! Everyone get it in!” I ordered. One by one, some more reluctant than others, the entire family gathered around our Queen, including my nephew Zach via Face-time. John, my sister’s boyfriend snapped the first few. I hopped out, he hopped in and snapped the rest. No one likes a prolonged photo shoot, so we snap, snap, snapped, quickly scanned the snaps, and dispersed from around our Queen.

Later that night, I relived the day and scrolled through the pics, stopping periodically, appreciating the images and the people in them. When the multiple pictures of the wole gang appeared, I stopped. I lingered a bit longer on an image I caught as well as an image John caught. I lingered, my eyes drawn to the unoccupied shaker rocker. I smiled. It was then I knew, that my Dad was still with us. He always is.

The chair may have been empty, but he was there. What my eyes did not see, my heart and soul knew.

John’s pic of our Queen and her court
My pic of our Queen and her court

7 thoughts on “empty chair?”

  1. I believe it. He is there. The photos are wonderful, his handiwork just beautiful. That goes for the chairs as well as his family. A legacy of love. At Christmas my grandparents seem especially near. I miss them to this day, but the feeling is tempered by abiding gratitude for their love and impact on my life. Love never dies. It goes on. Beautiful post, Dawn. Merry Christmas to all of you!


  2. Those whom we love are always with us. My father designed our house. We got it built in 2005. He passed away in 2016 but I always feel he is here because our house was planned by him. Thank you for sharing your precious moments. We wish you and your family a very Happy Christmas.


  3. I suspect that when your dad crafted those chairs, he knew they would be filled with memories and not just “fill” the space.


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