I took out the trash, did the laundry, cleaned the cat box, baked the mac and cheese and the ham while I waited for the dread in the pit of my stomach to subside. Then, I drove to pick up my brother Randy’s and the turkey I had to cook.
We talked about work and my mother’s now “lost” recipes on the less than 20 minute ride “home.” Thankfully, there was barely anyone on the road.
When I got inside, I went to work cooking the turkey and heating up the sides. My fiancé came in after work. His presence was a comfort even when we talked and teared up over over the people who we missed that day.
The mood shifted when my youngest brother T and his wife Christine arrived. They were clad in masks. We didn’t embrace. We left the front door for ventilation and stood apart while we caught up and played a round of 25 words or less. We also looked at my mom’s photo book from the funeral home.
Before we knew it, dinner was ready. I called out for dish cloths to set the items on the table because no one could remember where my mom kept the trivets. My brother found thanksgiving themed dish towels with tags on them. My mom must’ve been saving for the holiday not knowing she wouldn’t see it.
We bowed her heads but didn’t hold hands as my father prayed. He said he grateful we could all be together, for the food we were about to receive, the outpouring of love. And, he also admitted he missed his wife. A tear formed in my eyes but I lifted my head and smiled.
My brother and his wife took their dinner to go to limit our risk of Covid. The four of us left ate and talked for hours and views pictures of my grandnephew before packing up leftovers and heading home.
After I dropped my brother off, I put in a CD my mom and I frequently listened to when she was in my car. I belted out the words to “Sometimes I Cry” by Eric Benet all the way home.
As I went to bed, I sense of relief washed over me.
We laughed more than we cried during our first holiday without my mother, I thought. I’m grateful.
#scleroderma #cancer #mothersanddaughters #blackfamily #chronicillness #chronicpain #spoonie #death #grief #Thanksgiving2020 #grateful