Thanksgiving is a time when families come together and drink enough wine to take the edge off. The edge of what they normally wouldn’t talk about when getting together, but my family drinks every time we are together anyway so who knows what we normally talk about. I guess that accounts for the silence when any of them come, but that is for another post. This year was our first year with a car during the holidays so we weren’t so crunched for time. We left early, helped my mother (and grandmother) to finish up the meal. It was nice.
I went upstairs to get away from the shuttled conversations and piles of cooling food, built some legos with my nephew, and got feeling guilty so eventually went back downstairs. Apparently at the wrong time. I sat down and heard my sister say that my nearly non-existent father was going to surprise us on Christmas. Oh joy. This stirred the pot, and once again everyone complained and shared stories about him. I only listened and peppered in my snide comments. I’ve said my peace to those at the table about it all (another post). This put my ripe mood, grumpy, into a wonderful bouquet of worried and stressed. I’d had enough suprise gifts from my father on christmas, last year I was sent a massive clock from Target that had ‘LIVE LAUGH LOVE’ cut out of a ring around the edge of the clock in faux brass, a few years had gotten christmas themed bunker-style-buckets of stale popcorn in three terrible flavors – because nothings says “Merry Christmas, I don’t know anything about you” like a steel drum packed with popcorn. I guess a gift card to a place I don’t shop would have said that equally as well. Conversation at the tabled moved to my grandfather’s disdain for my father, then spread to mini-chats of other garbage. I got board and went back to Legos. I chatted with my ever smarter nephew again, got frustrated by not finding a five block to fit my house, and tried to join the crowed again. I help liz clean, drew pictures, and mulled about until it was time to go.
The two of us drove to her father’s in near silence because of my wonderful mood. While eating pie there we came across talk of last wishes. Liz’s father has planned to be in a twisted spiral of a acid induced muddle, then “an hour or so” later drowned out with a bottle of sleeping pills. I, for one, applaud this sort of gusto when it comes to one’s death. Liz wasn’t happy to hear about this of course, but I think her fear lies in it being in the not-to-distant future.
Author’s note: I wrote most of this the day after and was going to extend and edit this, but hey.