Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Messages On Vacation (Part 1)

I have always had interesting things happen to me when I step away from the daily grind, and get out of town.  This latest vacation was no different.

The time away provided an opportunity to open myself up to messages and allow a different perspective on life to seep through.

Zack and I went up north, back to visit family and friends. And it felt like we stepped back into our old lives, after being away for a year.

It felt a little surreal as we landed in Newark, rented a car and drove over to a friends house to stay overnight.  The next day we drove from New Jersey to Connecticut and it ignited flashbacks to when I first met Jeff and I was driving back and forth to NJ, as I stayed at my Aunt and Uncle's house over the summer.

Arriving at their house, to stay over the 4th of July weekend was like coming home.  I had spent so much time with them, at their house, over the years, even during my childhood.

The flashbacks came again, of all the summer weekends Jeff and I had shared around their pool, with family, grilling sausage and spending time.

My Aunt, Uncle, and I were reminiscing about Jeff, and how he had this joke with my Uncle Larry that he would say each time we sat down to eat lunch by the pool.

On Sunday, the day before the 4th, my two cousins arrived with their kids and significant others, to spend the day.

As we get ready for dinner, Gina and I are setting the table outside on the porch, overlooking the pool.  She hands me the place settings and I go around the table putting each one at a chair.

I counted the people......and counted the place settings....twice, and it seemed like it was off.  So I counted it again.

I counted 9 place settings and there were 10 people.  So I asked Gina to bring me out one more.

"Ok," she responds, and goes back inside to grab another complete set.

I count again to make sure I was right, and then I put down the 10th place setting.

We then get busy, gathering everyone to the table, herding the kids out of the pool, getting them situated, loading the table with food, and handing out the drinks.

We all grab a chair, sit down, and begin getting the kids plates ready as Uncle Larry lays down the big platter of sausage and chicken in the middle of the table.

Just as he sits down, my cousin Cindy says, "who is sitting here?"

We all look over at the empty chair between her and Gina's husband.  

It was set for one more guest, #11 ~ right across from Uncle Larry.

Everyone looked at each other, and I felt him immediately as I stared at the empty chair.

"I guess Jeff wanted us to know that he was here with us." I softly announced.