That Empty Chair

I sit here and smile within the bliss of the holidays. I look around and can’t shake the thought that you are missing. That thought is what strikes my soul once again. It reminds me that this isn’t supposed to be. My smile gently fades and I’m overtaken with sadness. The holidays are tough this year. I’ve made it through many “firsts” so far, but this first hurts the worst.

That empty chair. 

I look around, hoping I would see you. I wanted you to show yourself to me. Any sign; the color yellow or the sound of your wind chime outside. But when I look around, all I notice is your empty chair. It hurts. It hurts really bad. The placemat was set and the cup was empty, I pray hard wishing I would wake up. But, I found that I’m much alive in this new reality.

That empty chair.

The empty chair sat there cold, much of how your nose felt when I kissed you goodbye. Oh, how I didn’t want to let you go. I stared at your chair with just a tear down my cheek. I analyzed all of this emotion to realize that I do feel you. You are here. You are present in this world through the spiritual realm; the way most people may not understand or refuse to acknowledge. Through my watery eyes, I smile. I smiled because I didn’t have to see you to know you were sitting right there.

I feel you deep within my soul. 

That empty chair.

I hear you. You told me that I didn’t have to see you. I don’t have to look around for the signs of your presence. I must simply close my eyes and feel you. River, my boy, you are incredible.

That empty chair. 

I stare at that chair and remind myself that it’s not actually empty. It’s the chair my son is occupying. I feel you. I feel you hugging me, telling me it’s okay. I know you see me cry – I’m sorry for being sad. That tear is only a small inkling of my love for you. River, these tears are my body showing the world that I miss you. I miss you to my core. But, I feel you wipe that tear. The chill that runs down my spine is evidence enough, I’m never alone.

River’s chair.

My holiday wish is for your continuous guidance. My love for you is incomprehensible. I pray you give peace to the rest of the families who have that empty chair at their holiday table. Share your love among the world, my boy. I can’t wait to see you when I get there.

But, for now, I’ll keep your chair right next to me and smile knowing that your chair is no longer empty.