No Meatballs and an Empty Chair…


I’ve learned that the only constant is change

Some change is good, easy to adapt to.

Some change is long overdue and quite welcome.

But in some cases, change is painful, disruptive and difficult to accept.

Our family has recently gone through a tumultuous period of change.

Just before Thanksgiving, Neav’s Mom, Martha, died suddenly and unexpectedly.

Despite the fact she was nearly 93, we were still taken aback by the suddeness

We all felt her husband, Neav’s Dad, Ted, would be the first to go. He was soon to be 96 and had been tottering and weak for some time.

Martha plied her time as a cooker of church funeral meals and handling church rummage sales.

I jokingly said she probably helped cook and serve enough meals to feed all of Africa and her rummage sale efforts probably supplied all of Asia.

One of my favorite memories of Martha was walking into her kitchen and always finding something on the stove to eat.

She was masterful with home-made chicken and noodles. Her sugar cookies were special.

But I thought she hit the ball out of the park with her meatballs. They were the best!

So when we returned to her home after her death, I walked into the kitchen and for the first time I can remember, there we no sugar cookies, no homemade chicken and noodles and…no meatballs.

Something was very wrong with my world.

Then, about 5 weeks later, Ted, her hubby for over 70 years became ill and quickly passed.

I think Ted lost his spark when Martha died and while he didn’t give up, he just didn’t care as much anymore.

Like Martha, Ted was a faithful worker for the church over the years but I’ll remember him best as a skilled mechanic and craftsman from whom I learned so much.

There’s no way wife Neav and I would have ever accomplished as much as we have with our home-remodeling efforts had I not been able to work alongside her Dad over the years and learn how to use tools and build things.

In recent years, due to failing mobility issues, Ted was pretty much relegated to his blue recliner in the family room, where he watched The Golf Channel with the volume turned to the equivalent of a jet engine at take-off.

So when we returned to the home he and Martha had shared since 1971, we walked into the garage and up the steps to the family room.


As I always have, I glanced at the blue recliner.


It was empty.


Ted wasn’t there.


And, when I walked into the kitchen…yep, you guessed it. No meatballs on the stove.
We’ll be back over the next weeks and months to clear out the material things of their lives but I suspect it will be awhile before I don’t glance at that blue recliner, looking for Ted or stroll into the kitchen and cast a glance at that stove in search of Martha’s meatballs.


Things have changed.


No meatballs and an empty blue recliner.


I miss you, Martha and Ted.

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