Holiday Empty Chairs


 

Their places at the Thanksgiving and Christmas tables have been empty in some cases for many years. Some say you have memories but you cannot speak with a memory and you cannot hug a memory. The tears last forever.

For the ones for which I have no photos I pour Libation and speak your name that your memory may never be forgotten. Wounds that will never heal. Tears that flow like a river into seas and oceans far from the distant shore.  Ase.

Delbert Callahan, Gladys Young, Linda James, Clarence and Mamie Finney and the list goes on of family and friends most taken from this earth way too soon meaning except for two all died in their 50s and 60s. Every year that I get older the more people my age who pass away. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll be next and in what circumstances I will leave this earth.

Bernadine I still miss you so much. I carry your prayer card in my uniform every day. I still miss your smiling face and your laughter. However I know as much sorrow is in my heart your daughter and two sisters are hurting more than me and this year there will be no Christmas for your Loved ones.

bernadine-fitzgerald

 

 

Empty Chairs. Sorrow-filled hearts. Even though my parents have been gone close to twenty years I’ve never completely gotten over their loss and probably I never will. I still feel that ache Thanksgiving, Christmas and especially on Mother’s and Father’s Day which I don’t celebrate. When my parents passed away and I had to go through all their belongings and sort out things in their home one of the things I made sure went into the garbage was the Christmas tree and all the ornaments, even the ones dating back to the 50s and 60s because what sense would it make to have kept those things when the people who gave them meaning are gone? Of course now my space is the size of a postage stamp so I’m glad I tossed that Holiday junk. Since I never married nor had children it made no sense to carry on any type of holiday traditions. I make sure my brother Stephen has gifts and we go out on the town but I stopped decorating and sending Christmas cards long ago.

Fortunately this year I will be working on Christmas day and I am happy for the welcome distraction. My job will help me take my mind off what is a depressing holiday for me.

34 thoughts on “Holiday Empty Chairs

  1. I find Christmas to be difficult as well – a distraction is a good way to manage it. I try to think of it as just any other day. I get the same feeling with New Year’s Eve – like I a supposed to be doing something amazing, wearing something amazing, being somewhere amazing. It’s a lot of hype and a lot of pressure. I choose pajamas and Netflix and chill. I guess we are at that age where the losses keep piling up, and the thought of our own can create sadness. Don’t isolate yourself, keep writing – you have a fan in me 🙂 Harlon

  2. This is one of those posts when a “like” is not expressing the right thing. The grief coming from your lines is overwhelming. I wish I could simply embrace you for some moments 💖💖

      1. I am Thankful to be working on Christmas day because then I don’t have to be involved in the forced Holiday Happiness. I can just concentrate on my job and forget the outside world.

      2. I understand that so very well and I am glad how it works out for you this year. I think basically many would be thankful to switch their workdays with you anyway in order to be off on Christmas!

      3. For many people Christmas is just another work day. Think about Police, Firefighters, doctors, hospitals, nurses, Sanitation, Transit workers, the Direct Care workers who care for developmentally disabled people like my brother Stephen, home care workers as well as my field Security. Actually another reason I’m glad to be working is since I’m a Union employee I get paid extra and believe me I need the money. I want to move to my own apartment in 2017 sentiment and celebration goes out the window in place of being practical and pragmatic.

      4. Yes, I often think thankfully of all the people working on those days! It is also a good thing to be paid a bit better on those days! I am glad for you, Deborah!

    1. For me Christmas is depressing and I wish that I could avoid it however this year’s Blessing is that I will be at my job on Christmas Day. No enforced happiness for me. Christmas no longer has meaning for me. I have nothing to celebrate.

      For many people Christmas is just another work day. Think about Police, Firefighters, doctors, hospitals, nurses, Sanitation, Transit workers, the Direct Care workers who care for developmentally disabled people like my brother Stephen, home care workers as well as my field Security. Actually another reason I’m glad to be working is since I’m a Union employee I get paid extra and believe me I need the money. I want to move to my own apartment in 2017 sentiment and celebration goes out the window in place of being practical and pragmatic.

      1. I wish you the best with finding your own apartment. There’s nothing like ones own space. I hope Stephen is well. Despite how you feel, I mean no disrespect when I say enjoy whatever time you have off over the holiday period.

      2. I am off on the days prior to Christmas. I’m working Christmas day. I need the money. For me Life is all about survival. As a single Woman I’m on my own. The apartment and anything else I want in life requires money therefore I can’t celebrate even if I wanted to. Life has made me a very practical and pragmatic person since I don’t have a support system or other options.

      3. It’s really sad how pretty much everything requires money, and generally, a lot of it. Rents are unreasonable. I’m not sure how ‘common folk’ are supposed to survive. I do understand your situation though. I’m in an impossible situation, whereby I have my son, and cannot afford the deposit required for private rental on a one nor two bedroom apartment. Hopefully, something will work out for us. x

    1. Thanks. Me too. Happy Stephen and I are together because we have weathered so many losses. Stephen like me has seen many of his class-mates and fellow residents pass away. The older we get the more funerals and wakes we attend. Hopefully when our time comes God will take us both together because neither of us can be without the other.

  3. Reblogged this on A Call to Witness and commented:

    Christmas for me is an extremely painful holiday filled with sorrow and sadness. The only good thing is that this year I will be working Christmas day. Tired of the enforced happiness being shoved down your throat so you are practically shitting tinsel and elves. Let’s keep in mind that for some of us Christmas is just another depressing Holiday that I wish I could avoid!!

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