This is the very first Thanksgiving we will have ever spent apart from one another. My family is not the only family who will have an empty chair at the table this Holiday Season. There are many families I know who have lost loved ones and they get through their Holiday but the empty place is there. Many other friends have dear ones serving in the armed forces and will be missing them.
My ache at the thought of having Holidays without him is like a lump I cannot swallow. It's a constant reminder of the love we share as a family. I am thankful he is safe and I do not worry (for the most part) about his safety. I ache that he will be there in the snowy oil fields without us, and I am thankful for all the personal comforts and sacrifices he is making for our family.
We have enjoyed 11 other Thanksgivings together as a family. After fixing a pumpkin pancake breakfast, Seth and I have always started preparing the dinner together. He makes his "famous" pumpkin rolls, and helps me prepare the turkey, stuffed squash and other dishes. The children who like to cook are in and out of the kitchen helping with their favorite dishes, and those who don't enjoy turning the spoon like to see how many times they can sneak into the whipped cream before they are banished from the kitchen!
Much to be missed is this year is the annual late night Pomegranate Paradise Martini we share after the house is quiet and the children are in bed, and the long kiss we always steal in the crisp night air on our "guilt" walk ( You know... the one you take to make yourself feel better about all the food and pie you ate?)
So, the house will be decorated and filled with the warm, comforting welcome scents that the season brings. Hands will be joined around our table and thoughts shared about what we are thankful for, and even a text from Seth will be read, letting us know what he is thankful for. We will hold a place for him in our hearts until he comes home.
My prayers is that every family who is experiencing an empty chair at their table this Holiday season will be given an extra measure of peace and love. May you embrace your memories and with laughter and tears.
From our home to yours!