Who’s Missing From Your Thanksgiving Table?

“Missing too many family members today.”

My friend posted these six simple words on Facebook this week.  When I read them, all I could think was, “Me too, my friend.”  Then, the thought that had been hovering in the back of my mind for the past week moved front and center.

He should be here. 

How I miss my brother at Thanksgiving.  He loved all the holidays but he really loved Thanksgiving and Christmas.  This will be our 11th Thanksgiving without him.  While time truly does take away some of the searing pain of loss, it also means it’s been longer since we’ve seen one another.  More time has passed since I’ve heard his voice and his laughter.

Jeff, Mom, & Dad circa 1990's

I can still hear my brother’s voice inside my head.  I can still hear his laugh.  I don’t want to ever lose that, and I worry that I will.


In Thanksgivings of yesteryear, the phone calls would have been flying about now between my brother and my mom and me.  Who was bringing what?  Were there enough chairs?  Does Grandpa need a ride and who will pick him up?  Who’s bringing games for the kids?  Do we have a football to throw around before dinner?  How big is the turkey?  Who’s making the banana pudding and the cheesecake?


This Thanksgiving is the first one that my brother and I are both grandparents.  We would have had so much fun showing off pictures and trading stories.  This is the time of life when I thought he and I would have had more time together after the busy parenting years.  We would have held and admired one another’s grandchildren while telling stories about our own children when they were small.


As I was writing this, my husband, Jeff, came out of his office and asked what I was blogging about this week.  When I told him I was writing about my brother and those who will be missing at Thanksgiving, he said, “That’s kind of a downer.  What about all of those who will be joining our family down the road?  We will have sons-in-law and future grandchildren to join little Graham, who became a part of our family in September.”


And, he’s right.  I miss my brother daily and especially during this time of year.  He made the holidays so much fun and I am thankful for the 41 years I had with him. I hope somewhere somehow he is sitting around a table of Thanksgiving and watching both of our children and grandchildren from afar.  I hope he knows how much he is missed.

We all have people we are missing this time of year.  I think it’s important to cherish our memories of them while also being thankful for the time we had with them.  I know this, but sometimes I get lost in the missing and forget.

I have much and many for which I am thankful this Thanksgiving and I bet you do too!  Sometimes, the people in our lives are there to remind us.


Wishing you all a blessed Thanksgiving filled with both old and new wonderful memories!




One thought on “Who’s Missing From Your Thanksgiving Table?”

  1. Your words always lift me! Holidays will always be bittersweet for us. Being present with those we love is the best gift of all. Happy Thanksgiving!

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