A handful of years ago, an older gentleman that my whole family knows lost his wife of over 50 years. Her passing was pretty sudden and I remember being in shock when I first heard she had died.
The hubby and I went to her viewing to pay our respects. When it came time for some prayers, I looked over and saw that there was an empty seat next to him. I waited a few moments to see if anyone was going to sit next to him and no one did. I decided to go over and sit with him. It just didn't seem right that he didn't have anyone next to him.
We were unable to go to her funeral, but I kept thinking that there must be something else that our family could do to help him through this time of grief. Since I love to cook and bake, the most natural thing for me to do was to do that. Making him a meal and taking it over to his house would have been nice, but then he would be eating it by himself.
I decided that I wanted to invite him over to our house for dinner. I always make more than enough and our friend had very few food dislikes, so I could pretty much make him anything :) He seemed very happy to come over for dinner that first time. I can't remember what I served that night, but I do know that he was very appreciative.
When he was getting ready to leave and was thanking us, I said something like, "this isn't a one-time deal, we want you to come back soon for dinner!" I think he was a little taken aback, because I'm pretty sure he thought it would just be that one time. We invited our friend to dinner several more times after that first time.
A few years ago, he met a very sweet woman who would eventually become his wife. The hubby and I went to his wedding and our friend never stopped smiling the entire time. His new wife is super nice and the two of them make a great couple. I had to really restrain myself to not be crying all over the place.
Now that he's a happily married man, we don't see him as often, but that's okay, the empty seat at his dinner table is now filled.
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