Wednesday, November 28, 2012
I found this photo of my kids when they were ten and seven, early one morning at the departure gate at JFK airport, waiting for our flight to be called. Our son was playing a Pokemon game on his Nintendo, his sister intently awaiting her turn. In our suitcases were Christmas gifts galore. I am remembering all the years when the arrival of December meant preparing to travel to somewhere warm, Antigua or St. Lucia and occasionally Jamaica, to spend the Christmas with one set of grandparents and the New Year with the other. We reversed the order of the islands from year to year, so that our kids would get to spend Christmas with each set of grandparents equally. And there were cousins and friends and beach days and family dinners with all the generations, and the kids were barefoot all the time, even jumping into the car with Uncle Bruce for a run to the supermarket to get an ingredient Nana wanted. And then everyone grew up. Two of the four grandparents passed on. The other two grow increasingly frail. Some bonds have frayed. Everyone is caught up in the immediate, every one of us poorer than before. But there's no use crying. Suck it up, buster. Be grateful it ever was. This is life. It turns and turns and turns.