The Chanukah cards are completed and printed. It all went smoothly until I asked Chuck to pull up our holiday card lists. I needed a count for how many to make. He gave me one number and then quickly corrected himself, reducing it by one. We won’t be sending a card to his Dad this year. Nearly ten months after his passing, it still hit us both with a thud.
A few days ago, a still unfathomable family situation led us to learn much too late about the death of my aunt, the widow of one of my Dad’s brothers. During a conversation with my mother, in the midst of a cascade of emotions, Mom realized that she is now our family’s matriarch. Of four brothers who lived to adulthood and their four wives, only Mom survives and thankfully thrives. Mom is the first born of two in her family, with her younger sister alive, but in serious decline. Learning of the passing of her only remaining sister-in-law and her new uncomfortable status, hit Mom with a thud as well.
The Chanukah cards will go out in tomorrow’s mail, as will a sympathy card to my cousin. We will all continue to adjust and to grieve and to move on. We may wish to think that the holidays are the same every year. But the holidays are new every year. Every year they grow larger with memories. They are a time to celebrate and to remember. In the coming weeks, we will do both.