The Empty Chair

The chair was left off to the side, even though there was room at the table. The chair had no arm rests, and the back of the chair was straight. Even after 20 years of being used, it still looks brand new. The white cloth still white as snow, and the wood barely scratched. It would have sat next to Declan or Laura, but it sat unused.

Holidays still are weird knowing that you aren’t here, Grandma. Mom baked Granny’s chocolate cake this afternoon, and I knew you would have loved it. But, I also know you are probably eating a meal prepared by Granny up in Heaven. I bet it is nice having your own mom back, Grandma, but we sure do miss you.

You’ve been on my mind these last few weeks. I changed my major, and I knew you would be proud. I also came out, and I knew you’d love me just the same. You haven’t been  physically present through a lot, Grandma, but we knew you are spiritually there with us. We’re moving, too. This year we’ll be in a hotel or at Matthew’s house for Christmas. You won’t have to be there early again this year.

Grandma, you always have a way to make sure that I still remember you – from watching TV shows you and I watched together to seeing your picture every morning when I wake. I miss you a lot. Though your chair is empty, our hearts are not. Thank you, Grandma, for the 16 years of impact you had on me.  I miss you everyday, but I know you’re here.

This season, I am going to be praying a lot for peace and comfort when I am missing you knowing that the empty chair isn’t so empty in my heart.

For all of those with a newly empty chair or a repeat empty chair this year at the holidays, I am praying that you may find peace and comfort in knowing that they are still present even though they are not physically. I pray that you find joy in the hard times and peace in the uncomfortable times.

xoxo, michael mcgarvey

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