A Bittersweet Holiday

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This afternoon our family went to pick up my brother-in-law at the bus station, then took him on a quick tour through the state capital and of course, a visit to the comic store on the way to dinner and home. We’ve lived in our house for ten yeras and this is his first visit. Usually, we go to his house for Thanksgiving. While my parents were alive, we always had Thanksgiving with them, and my in-laws would come as well. After my parents passed, we began going to my mother-in-law’s for Thanksgiving. We planned on going there again this year, but in June, my mother-in-law died unexpectedly.

My husband did not want to go to her house this year without her; it was too soon.

We’re going to my sister-in-law’s one state over. We’ve only been there once, so this will be something different for everyone. I don’t think we’ll be hyperaware that my MIL is missing, but we will certainly notice.

The house won’t be too cold and we won’t go to Christmas Tree Shops at the outlet mall. We won’t hear her voice, still accented brogue after forty years in America calling her grandkids ‘angel’ and ‘darling’.There will be no trifle. I still haven’t mastered it. Hers was always perfect.

It’s our first holiday without her.

It’s going to be a long holiday season; tomorrow is only the beginning.

We’ll get through it because that’s what people do, and we’ll have fun with the cousins and the aunts and uncles all together, and sadness will fall over us and then it will be okay again.

Bittersweet.

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