Thanksgiving is a time for traditions. Family gathering around a perfectly roasted turkey, the table joyfully decorated with autumn leaves and bowls heaped high with stuffing and mashed potatoes. Laughter filling the air as stories from the previous year are told and retold. Everyone sitting around the television screaming for whichever team is the favorite for the moment. Eating too much, but still finding enough room for just one sliver of pie.

But this year, there is an empty chair at that table. One less smiling face asking to pass the cranberry sauce.

For years, the seat at the head of the table has been vacant, a heart attack claiming the life of my father on the golf course. Since then, Mom has held the family together.

But today, she and Dad share the day together.

So no quirky comments, no divine wisdom.

Just the wish that all of you hold your loved ones dear. Tell them you love them today because tomorrow is not guaranteed, no matter what Annie said.

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