Here we are again. Beginning the holiday season 2017-2018. It’s a time of joy and happiness. We had our thanksgiving this year. Just the three of us. We made our homemade pumpkin pie, turkey and all the sides. We watched Macy’s parade and sang along with the songs we knew. Grace lit up when Santa ended the parade. Then we sat at our beautifully dressed table. White table cloth, cloth napkins, roses in a vase, and all our creations. As I sat down, I couldn’t help but see the empty chair beside me. The grief floods over on days like this. He would’ve been right here next to me. Holding my hand and saying our thankful for this year. Grace held my hand and she wanted to say grace this year. Then, she began to recite the pledge of allegiance. I couldn’t help but smile. He would’ve done the same thing. She went on to say she was grateful for her family, the universe and heaven because her brother is there. This made my heart both proud and sad. This little girl, just seven, has the knowledge of personal loss that no child should have. She holds it with grace and reminds me to be thankful for the little things like love of family and the pledge of allegiance. I miss him daily but during the holidays the loss is palpable. It’s right in your face saying “I’m missing”. The joy and sadness are overwhelming at times seeing that empty chair. I am grateful for my family and friends. I am grateful that I am here today. I am grateful that I am his mom even if he is not with me. I am grateful that I have my Grace to hold my hand.