An Empty Place At The Table

Champagne for everyone!

There is a huge, gaping hole at the table that will never be filled because the people that once sat there are gone.

They aren’t out of town, on vacation, sick or taking a nap. They are gone, moved to wherever it is we go after our time here and I can’t ever sit at a holiday meal and not notice their absence.

Can’t sit down and forget about what they added to our lives, the things they said and did and thus I sometimes find myself lost in thought about them.

The Passing Of The Baton

In most cases it is normal and natural. At the moment I am thinking about all of my grandparents, almost all of whom lived long and full lives.

My children will never have the relationship with my grandparents that my siblings and I did. I am ok with it, it is natural too.

But I see them developing it with their own grandparents and that makes me smile. I see them building a bond that reminds me of the one I have and I hope that one day many decades from now they will feel the same hole I feel now because the hurt is proof of the positivity and good of those relationships.

The passing of the baton from one generation to the next makes sense to me. I may not like it, but it makes sense.

Band Of Brothers

Some years ago my paternal grandfather and I started watching Band of Brothers together. I very much enjoyed doing so and remember some of the stories he shared with me.

World War II meant something very different to him and his generation than to others. I appreciate it and am grateful for the sacrifices but let’s face it, I can’t relate the same way to something that they lived through and I didn’t.

I don’t know why, but for some reason he and I didn’t get through all ten episodes. I think he might have gotten sick in the middle and been hospitalized, but I really don’t recall.

A week ago I decided it was time for me to revisit and finish the series. I dove into it because I enjoyed it, found it interesting and because that connection remains.

Watched and thought about how I view the “Greatest Generation” and wondered about differences and distinctions between then and now.

Tonight In Los Angeles

I won’t be able to go home for the holiday. Tonight in Los Angeles the family will gather and there will be another empty seat where I would normally be.

Tonight I won’t wonder if my family is the loudest one around. My kids won’t whisper to me about how their aunts and uncles should turn on their hearing aids.

Won’t hear any complaints about the mean older/younger brother/sister or have conversations with my sisters about what our kids are doing now and how funny it is to us that they think grandpa is the nicest guy ever.

Dad has always been a nice guy, but the grandchildren have no idea what they get away with and how soft he has become. The kids can blow the Shofar in his ear and he’ll just laugh, but if I did it…

Change Is A Part Of Life

This past year has been different in almost every way. Some of it has been hard but so much of it has been good.

Picked up the phone more than once to call my grandparents and check in. Was ready to call them and tell them about life and ask them for their thoughts on a few things but that time has gone.

Cellphones don’t reach them anymore.

I still hear their voices and see them. I hear them talking about how we can rely upon the good and bad time to change. Can hear them sharing stories and see their eyes go distant as they talked about their childhood and grandparents.

And I remember being the little boy who sat on their lap who couldn’t ever imagine them being young. Couldn’t picture them ever being children or anything other than old.

And I laugh because back then they were younger than my parents are now.

And now, well now I don’t have trouble picturing them as young people any more. Not because of the pictures, but because I have lived enough to understand things in a way I never could before.

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  1. […] include as being among my best work, but if I had to point out something recent I would say read An Empty Place At The Table. I am particularly proud of that […]

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