The Empty Chair

By Betty
June, 2010

Four white plastic chairs sit in a half-circle under the shade of an old tree in the backyard of an old house. The grass is dense and green – soft to walk on barefoot. The bird feeders can be busy as the birds come and go. All is peaceful and quiet as two dogs patrol the perimeter surrounded by a brick wall.

On one chair at the end rests a golden, long hair dachshund. Her feathery tail is curled around her. Her eyes are half closed as she listens, not to miss a thing. Her furry coat is dense and soft as velvet, but turning gray and white about the face.

On the chair at the opposite end rests a smaller golden brown, short-haired dachshund, sitting alert, ears erect, listening, eyes wide open, begging, her tail wagging off the chair. “All ready when you are.” She, too, is turning gray and white about her face.

Unconditional love

Endless attention

Both truly family of the one empty chair

In one of the middle chairs sits a weary old lady, sometimes watching the sun come up over the mountains. Sometimes listening to the chirping birds in the morning and the cooing doves in the evening. Sometimes just daydreaming of the past and what may come. Sometimes thinking of the stars that twinkle in the dark.

The empty chair will forever be empty. Somehow it’s filled with memories from the past and a love that endures forever, surrounded by three chairs that remember how it once was long ago, and never to be again.

One response to “The Empty Chair

  1. Betty’s story, “The Empty Chair,” has an achingly poignant tone that is greatly appreciated by those who knew her incredibly special “memory maker.” Although the “memory maker” is gone temporarily (that is, from THIS existence and THAT white plastic chair), he is watching over the occupants of the other three chairs until all are together again. There are several other “memory makers” in your life, Betty, one of whom is enthusiastically living in New York and sitting in her own white balcony chair, remembering how it once was long ago — while creating memories to savor in the future. You can be very proud of that memory maker, Betty!

    Keep up your writing. It is a joy to read!
    Paula

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