Friday, November 27, 2009

The Circle Game

You'd think that Black Friday took its name from the dark clouds that packed the sky all day today. Another turkey dinner come and gone, another Christmas shopping season ramping up.

My in-laws are infirm and deteriorating more every day. My husband's mom can't go out anymore, too difficult for my father-in-law to care for outside of their own home, so we brought dinner to them. I cooked the turkey breast on Wednesday and the vegetables at their house on Thursday. Our sons came too, the older one accompanied by his girlfriend, the younger one back from a tour with his band. We all celebrated the holiday together.

I'm having a hard time putting it all together, my in-laws in their decline, my mom dead almost 8 years now, my sons on the threshold of their adult lives... and me somewhere in between. I have trouble even remembering when they were the babies whose pictures adorn the wall in the den. Even if it's all in the natural order of things, the cycle of life, the circle game.

And I remember an infant keeping me awake when I felt desperate to sleep...and rage because I was shut inside with that baby while my husband grabbed his briefcase and went out to work...the first vaccination, the first time he climbed into the schoolbus, first Communion and first honors...and doing it all again with baby #2...their first steps and my mom's last...watching them take their first bite and my mom take her last breath...then suddenly it's today.

Some day, I hope someone dear to me comes and makes me a holiday dinner when I'm too old and feeble to cook and maybe even to care.

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