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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Sunday after Christmas

Christmas was quiet. We barely got dressed for the day. We opened gifts, then dawdled and dozed and finally tidied ourselves, went to the store, and cooked the feast. We ate at close to 10 pm, just the four of us and a friend of my son's. We ate turkey and stuffing, honey ham and a corn and cheese soufflé, the plates balanced on our knees. My daughter made a caramel apple pie, the crust flaky and perfect. We drank port, which made me sleepy. Earlier, I'd worked on an editing job that's due this week, which made it, really, just like any other day. I tried not to think about it being Christmas, the first without my mother. I called my aunts, my brother, cousins.

This morning, I woke with relief that the dreams I'd entertained all night faded to vapors in the daylight. Still, the vapors clung. Then came the news from my husband's brother that one of their aunts had died on Christmas day. Our elders are taking their leave, reuniting with beloveds on the other side. I walk slowly and breathe mindfully. I sit at the dining table scrutinizing puzzle pieces to quiet my churning brain. My daughter joins me and we have a chatty and companionable time showing the puzzle that no matter how it tries to hide its connections, we will persevere. 

This was what it looked like at about 9 a.m. on Christmas morning. The vibe didn't change much throughout the day, which made my husband happy. He said the laid-back pace was just the day he needed. On Boxing Day, we sent a happy birthday video to my niece in Jamaica and my cousin from Trinidad arrived to spend the rest of the holidays with us. Her mother died when she was in her early 20s; she said that every Christmas since then has been melancholy. Now I know how she feels. But we go on. After all, we can't stay under the covers and pretend the day is not happening. We do our best for our loved ones. We find our joy, in them.


11 comments:

  1. I get the melancholy vibe. It was my 5th Christmas without my mom and every Christmas I feel like if I just go look in the other room she will be there.
    You have lost far too many family members this last while.

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    1. Birdie, lots of losses, that's for sure. It's the other side of the blessing of a large close family, so I'll take it. What is it they say, grief is the price of love; I had the love. Hope your season sits more or less lightly. Thank you for being here.

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  2. Ah love. The melancholies. I know. I know. They find us all, don't they? And at the most inconsiderate of times.
    And then, they depart. Keep breathing until then.
    I love you. Here is my hand.

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    Replies
    1. Darling Mary, it was always going to be like this. But I'm ok really. Just quiet. Love to you. I'm loving your family photos this holiday. Such connectedness and joy.

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  3. Grief is the price of love...indeed. And, like you, I go on, knowing that those connections are changed and have changed me, though they are never lost.

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  4. Hugs to you. Your last two sentences really touch me. Those words are so true.

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  5. You always capture melancholy so well -- both in your words and the photos. Yes, to all of this. I send you love and love and love.

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  6. I'm glad your melancholy Christmas could just be and wasn't hampered by a dense schedule and fake smiles and must dos :)

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  7. A laid-back Christmas sounds just right for some years and some circumstances.

    I'm amazed that your stores were open. Everything here shuts completely down for the day. And for Boxing Day. We all buy food like crazy, as if we can't survive for two days on a turkey and all the trimmings, plus everything else in our cupboards. I do it too, even though I think it's nuts :)

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  8. I love this post. I love you Dear Rosemary. Early this morning I dreamed I was visiting you with my monk friend. You had an amazing rooftop floating garden. Hard to describe. We walked along shallow pools, it was so lovely. There were children everywhere, having a sleepover. What a beautiful visit we had. Wishing you a Brilliant New Year.
    xxoo

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  9. We were abroad for Christmas, as we usually are, and it seems like a dream to me to get to stay at home like that. I like being back now and able to relax more. I was shocked at the mention of shopping at Christmas. Of course in NY the shops would be open, but that is just unimaginable here. Even in the big cities everything would be closed, except perhaps a night shop.

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