I spent this past weekend in Nashville, TN attending a wedding with my children. This trip was our first road trip without Laura, and the ride down was challenging at times, even lonely. Challenging because we took a vow almost 12 years ago to “share all that is to come; to speak and to listen.” Two things I can no longer do with her.
I never gave our wedding vows much thought until I listened this past weekend intently and let each word sink in. The prose, albeit simple, is beautiful and encapsulates the joys and pains of marriage. One passage that stood out to me was, “To Inspire and To Respond.”
So basic, yet so profound.
A dear friend of mine wrote a beautiful tribute to Laura that she shared during the service. It talked about Laura being lightning and grace. Powerful, full of energy, yet elegant and welcoming to everyone. It’s difficult to put into words the aura that Laura possessed. She glowed, even when she was at her worst. She was a firecracker one minute, then a shoulder to lean on the next.
I miss that immensely. Yet, I see it every single day. I see it in my children, they are my lightning and grace.
An empty chair can be esoteric.
Simple, yet complex.
When occupied, it bears the weight of the individual. It serves as a place to share laughter, love and conversation.
When empty, only traces of the individual remain. A worn patch on the wood, or a stain from a spill long forgotten.
Where there was once laughter and conversation, there is only silence. The silence is anything but comfortable.
As time passes, the chair will no longer serve as a reminder of a love lost too soon. It will remind us of the laughter, love and joy it once held.
Until then, it will remain empty.
Instead of writing one big post about our trip, I’ve decided to write several observations and reflections that happened while we spent our week in Captiva. It was an amazing trip, filled with mostly great moments.
Focusing on the future, never forgetting the past.
As the sun slowly set upon the gulf our first night, I stared at my two children while the waves hit their feet. Each time a wave came in, they’d squeal in delight. Watching my children experience the ocean for the first time was something that I will not soon forget. It was beautiful and bittersweet, joy and grief intricately woven into the fabric of my life.