An Empty Seat At The Table

“Dying’s a really hard way to learn about life.” (From the movie, My Life.)
It has crossed my mind multiple times.
Cancel Christmas.
Cancel it for good. And while you are it, cancel Thanksgiving, too.
Those were my immediate thoughts 2 years ago after my mom passed.
Why celebrate a great time when the greatest influence in your life is not there?
Why celebrate a joyous occasion when the one person who taught you about joyous get-togethers is not there?
Why celebrate life and love and family, when the one person who taught you what those words meant, would not be there?
I had all the reasons.
In my haste, I forgot about two things.
Two of my mom’s favorite things.
My kids.
She cherished that time with them.
Cherished it.
Although her time with my kids was limited because she got sick, she loved every second of Christmas Eve with them.
Every damn second.
But it wasn’t fair to keep celebrating Christmas if she was not here.
Too many memories. So many great moments
Then it hit me.
Memories and moments, one and the same.
What if, after my dear grandpa had passed away, my mom had said, “Forget it Joe. We are done. No more celebrating because I don’t want to.”
I would have missed out on some wonderful moments, that are now precious memories.
So we will celebrate Christmas Eve for our third time without my best friend.
I will leave an seat empty at the table.


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