The second half of our holiday is home with family. Yesterday was a sweet and thankful Thanksgiving, traditional for us. Daughters both have adopted the custom of having lunch with their husband's families. All our crew (including James' mother and little sister) have late dinner here. That drill, as well as the traditional menu, has become familiar enough to feel comfortable. There are a few changes every year - James' favorite broccoli rice casserole a few years back and this year "yankee" - not cornbread - stuffing from Chris' traditions. I love the blending and the people - so much for which to be thankful I'm hearing more and more people, both private and public, comment on the inequities in the world in terms of all the people living on very little money ($500.00 a year being one recently quoted figure)and not having enough to eat. We are not doing enough to solve the problem and I don'tknow enough about how to solve it, but I do feel that more Americans are taking our ability to feast (annually and daily) less for granted.
After we'd gotten most of the dishes done and the children tucked in bed (hopefully with pie and stuffing dreams) Ruth and Chris shared one of their favorite movies with us on dvd. Nicholas Sparks' The Notebook is a beautiful love story spanning a life long marriage - from infatuation through trials and finally into a sweet and loyal abiding through the terrible loss of a love to dementia. I cried and was sorely aware that none of us knows what the future holds, except that it does hold loss on some terms. I watched Ruth and Chris cuddling on the couch, remembered James standing Joanna's chair at dinner, enfolding her in his arms. I looked at Bob relaxed in his chair savoring the story and remembered Kerry, living and loving and dying with me in this house. I felt the echo of the pain of losing a love and feared for all of us as to the future - how the losses will come. And then I remembered that you can't lose a great love unless you have a great love to lose - and that the couple in the film had a great and rich life together and so do all of us - that they transformed their ending the best they could - that we can to whatever terms life deals us. I still cried - and when Bob and I walked Lobo after the film we held hands with great tenderness which has lingered this morning. I want to hold onto that awareness of the beauty and importance, as well as fragility, of life.