The Empty Dinner Seat


The Empty Dinner SeatI have to admit that I miss some things in life now that I am a little older.  I have to admit that I miss the days when I would sit at the table with my brother and mom.  We would just talk about things from sports to girls to money. We would talk about the neighborhood and what was happening around us.

I miss those days sometimes, so I do everything I can to sit and spend time with my family as we go about our lives. But, now as I write this article it is with a heavy heart. In the past weeks, the law enforcement family has lost our warriors here on this earth.  They are now home with the lord.  Six were lost these past weeks, 5 by gunfire and 1 by heart attack while saving someone.

That’s 6 empty dinner seats as families who once spent time together talking, laughing or even crying.  They now have to try to make sense of what has happened in their lives. They will have to deal with Christmas, birthdays, sports activities, laughter, and family dinners without their loved ones.  Their loved one had to miss those events just so someone else could enjoy them.

It’s a hard thing to explain to people, especially those who are not in this line of work or related to someone in law enforcement. They will never understand that joyous walk we have after finding a lost child and returning them to their parents.   Or that sad walk, as we have to knock on the door of a parent to tell them their child has died.

The dinner table gives me and others who are in the calling of saving lives a little peace and rest from the world, if only for awhile. I listen to my son talk about his football skills and look at my wife and thank God everyday she is in my life.

I, along with other first responders, know that our family time may be the last time. I accepted this a long time ago.  I have discussed this with my family so that they are prepared. But, for those of us who think this little article is about sadness, it is not.

We have lost our brothers and sisters at arms. However, as it written in Ecclesiastes 3:1:” There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven”.  For those families who mourn, I shed tears for their loss.   However, this article is also about fulfilling the great commandment, “For no greater love than this, that a man should lay down his life for a friend” John 15:13. That is our mantra we strive for every day.

Even though the dinner seats will be empty here on earth, I am rejoicing for our warriors who are sitting at the dinner table with our Lord and savior. I tell the officers who have families to cherish the time that they have together.   Laugh, cry, and talk to each other because one day, one day, we  will all have to look at…and empty seat at the table.


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