We sit around the table, sipping sweet drinks, remembering other visits, which feel like a lifetime ago. We smile, sometimes laugh, and wonder what this night would have looked like had things turned out differently.
The memories keep us talking, and we are grateful to have them. We are used to being happy on this day; so our feelings bring out a somber confusion. Our food arrives, and the conversation fades away. We all try to focus on the present, enjoying each other, but we all see the empty seat. We are sad.
The guest of honor is missing.
Once a day of celebration, is now one of loss. We never know how to feel on days like this. We celebrate the one we love, but we miss him more than words express.
“I wonder what Dad would have wanted today…” one child says halfheartedly.
“My heart is sad, but I’m happy to be here with you,” says another, as we all stare at the empty space.
The words we say, the things we wonder, the celebration is incomplete, simply because the guest of honor is missing.
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