subject line: the empty chair.

 

somewhere in the mountains, north carolina

Going out to dinner with my parents and being seated at a table for four is pretty typical. but now that empty fourth chair haunts me. This time last year, and every year before…having an empty chair at the table meant my only brother, only sibling for that matter..was out of town, or too cool, or too busy to have dinner with us. Now it’s a reminder that there should be 4 of us sitting there and there isn’t. There never will be again. The empty chair at the restaurant and our table at my parents house will always be a reminder that my family will never be whole again. The empty chair beside my family at my upcoming college graduation is a reminder my brother will never see graduate from our school.., or create a life for myself. Every Christmas, thanksgiving, holiday, and family gathering…the empty chair not being used in the corner of the room is a reminder that he won’t ever be sharing that holiday with us again, but he should be. One day, the empty chair beside my parents on my wedding day will be a reminder that he won’t be a part of that magical moment. it means he won’t be able to stand up and give witty, smart-ass speech about finally finding someone to put up with me. It means he will have never met my future husband. That empty chair tells me that I will never be an aunt to his kids. And my kids will never know their Uncle. My first born will not know the person he or she is named after. But that empty chair can never be filled again, because the day he died was the day that no one would ever be worthy enough to fill it. The empty chair at our table is a reminder that we will always be a family of four. So while to you, looking at what looks like my little family of 3 sitting there with an extra chair...to us, it’s an empty chair...that’s simply missing someone.