Empty: containing nothing, not occupied, or inhabited.
It is not good when your cereal is already poured in your bowl, you reach in the refrigerator and grab the gallon of milk to find it empty. There is something stressful about driving down the highway and the light comes on showing you are about empty on gas, and you still have many miles to your destination. There can be both a sense of peace and eeriness being in an empty house.
The word empty can also explain some of our feelings and experiences in life. I want to share a few times in my life where things or situations felt empty and maybe you can relate.
The empty seat. At the age of 16, I remember vividly while I was taking a shower, my dad knocked on the door. “Have you heard?” I still get emotional thinking about those words. “Have you heard about your friend that died last night?” Brandon was a classmate, teammate, and friend. Brandon ran from the police in his Mustang during the night and ended up in a wreck and passed away. The week before, during our history class, the teacher let Brandon and I work on reweaving two lawn chairs. The teacher later wrote a letter (I still have a copy) and talked about how it was going to be hard to look out in class and see Brandon’s empty seat. The chair we had yet to finish would stay that way as a reminder.
The empty phone call. I surprised my wife for our 10-year anniversary with a trip to Hawaii. We made all the plans, and my mom came to stay with our kids. After the flight and a short, jetlagged night of sleep, my wife called to check on the kids. I her concern in her voice instead of excitement.
For the complete column, see next week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.