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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Facing the Holidays

Last year, the holidays were just a blur. Just get through them. One foot in front of the other. Breathe in, breathe out. Put on a smile as often as you can.

Sometimes grief is forced to wait. But never think that means it won't have its way. Grieving is inevitable. And it will keep resurfacing until it runs its course. However long that takes.

It hit today. The day before Thanksgiving.

Why do we do this? Generate this huge feast. I don't need massive amounts of food in order to be thankful. Food is for people. Quantities of food for quantities of people.

We're all posting on Facebook about the progress we're making in cooking and preparing. I know, because the background buzz of everyone else's busyness is running along in a room down the hall from my kitchen. When I need human contact, I check in to see what the others are up to. How many pumpkin pies are complete. Who's got chess pie versus apple pie or cobbler or cheesecake. Who's making homemade cranberry relish and how that's coming along.

And I want to scream at the computer: IS THIS REAL?

There are shadows of the missing everywhere.

I am making my mother's sweet potato casserole. The one with the marshmallows on top. (I can't help but wonder who ever thought of putting marshmallows on top of sweet potatoes, but there you have it. It's a tradition now.) It's never as good as hers was. I don't know why it always comes out just a little bit different, but it does. Emma will be making my grandmother's home-made Southern biscuits. They don't really pair all that well with the additions I've brought to the feast, but we never had Thanksgiving dinner without them, and so, there you have it, again. I doubt we'll bake them quite as long as Grandmama always did, though. She always wanted a brown biscuit.

Why can I not be satisfied without the hubbub of extension at the holidays? Why is this longing for kingdom community so deep in me? Why is going through the motions not enough? I don't like cooking alone. I love festivity. But I want it to mean something, and I want to share it on a broader scale than just our household, but a smaller scale than what the Pilgrims and Indians might have had. My social anxiety is too ingrained still for me to breathe in a big, overwhelming group.

My Dad is coming for the meal. He will drive four hours, eat, stay for a bit, and drive four hours home. We couldn't talk him into spending the night with us. I long to see him. I wish he'd stay. It feels thin and empty and transient. Vaporlike.

This is part of the process. Seeing what is. Living through what is. Accepting what is.

But it hurts sometimes.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You've hit the nail on the head with this one.

-Kevin

--Rebecca said...

Miss you, Kee. <3