Sunday, December 6, 2009

Empty Chairs


In every life, at every holiday, there are empty chairs, reserved for the people we love who are no longer with us.
This year I will look for my mother. I will expect to see her smiling over the funny trinkets in the aisles at Walmart. I will expect to hear her laugh when that stuffed snowman at the plastic piano sings, "Have a holly, jolly Christmas." I will go on thinking how I need to get a gift for her, and then I will remember, she has everything she needs.
A couple nights ago, I walked the dogs in the mist, in the long shadows of bare tree limbs, and the falling temps. The moon was full, and the last of the crickets sang a dirge to the fall. It has long been my custom to stare up at the moon and say, "I see the moon and the moon sees me," and to remember that everyone I love is exactly where they should be, and just as close and as constant as the moon.
But that rhyme rings hollow these days.
My mother's chair is empty.

5 comments:

gardenlady5562 said...

Joanna,
For you an empty chair for me it is a pair of work boots no longer worn. I lost my husband to cancer 2 years ago this past October. I keep a pair of his work boots right where he left them the last time he wore them...beside the chair in the foyer where he would always take off his work boots and put on his slippers. It is comforting to know they are there - waiting - even though he is not. A friend of ours always comments about the boots still sitting there next to the chair - he says it always chokes him up when he sees them...
Julia

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Julia, my thoughts and prayers are with you. I understand why those boots are sitting there...

Angela Parson Myers said...

I lost my mother near the end of September. You don't realize how many times you think about someone--sharing something with them or doing something for them--until they're gone.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Angela, I understand your loss, and my thoughts are with you.

sanjeet said...

I understand why those boots are sitting there...

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