by Bella Rum

I’m in a pensive mood tonight. I was exhausted after the ride home, and fell asleep early. Now I’m awake in a quiet, cool house. I donned my soft, fluffy, stay-at-home socks before even getting out of the bed. I turned the fireplace on a few minutes ago, and it will be warm as toast in here soon.

I was happy to be with family yesterday. I always know that Aunt Ruby may not be with us on the next holiday, yet she keeps ticking. Endurance is her thing. There was talk of assisted living, though her resources are minimal. I don’t know what will happen on that front, and it’s on my mind.

My brother was quiet and dealing with a painful back and probably feeling like I felt – there’s a lot of missing family. I did pretty well the year after Dad died and even the next, but this year I felt the absence of family: sisters (one passed and one who lives far away), nieces and nephews and kids who have their own families and traditions. It’s a natural progression, but traditions are the backbone of holidays. We make traditions, we break traditions, we modify traditions and we ultimately miss relinquished traditions – what ever the reason for their disappearance.

My cousin Sue, Aunt Ruby’s daughter, was there. I’ve rekindled a relationship with her over the past few years since she’s started coming to our Thanksgiving dinners. She’s younger than I am, about the age of some of my nieces. She lived next door, and I loved her to pieces when she was a little girl. Then I moved away when she was still a child and hardly ever saw her again. In recent years, I’ve come to appreciate how atrophied relationships can be revived, and how the old bond, if massaged the tiniest bit, can spring back to life in a more mature and even deeper way. It’s a wonderful thing. I’ve lost a lot of people in the past decade, but I’m beginning to see that I have new-old relationships all around me in the form of nieces, nephews and cousins.

My brother’s son is my favorite relative of all time. I could spend all day telling you how much I love him and why. His three little girls are growing up. What beauties they are and so smart. It’s fun to watch them interact. Sisters! What a special bond that is.

Yesterday was a wonderful day, but bittersweet. I’m glad for this holiday. I’m grateful for it. But it is a day of reflection and reflection does what it will with us. Still… the mashed potatoes and gravy helped a lot, and the bread pudding didn’t hurt.

Today’s agenda: drink lots of water, exercise, eat clean

Note: Only two mentions of politics. Once when Aunt Ruby mentioned President Obama’s pardoning of the turkeys, Tater and Tot, and another when H heard someone mention President-Elect Trump’s selection for Secretary of Education. Not sure what was said.