Friday, October 2, 2015

what doesn't change

Once, we ate Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant when our kitchen was out-of-commission. I was 12 or 13 and completely unsettled by the prospect. I wanted us to dig in our heels and somehow find a way to preserve what had always been. I imagined that if we gave ourselves permission to adapt, then nothing would be considered sacred. Would we abandon Christmas Eve candlelight service next?

I feared change, even back then. But I didn't know change, having only ever experienced its proxies - transitions, disappointment, uncertainty.

When my dad passed away unexpectedly, Change became an unwelcome guest who moved in, without notice or regard.

Suddenly, the traditions that once defined my family could not be. It wasn't fair that he wasn't there to put together our Christmas tree while we unraveled the tangle of lights. We couldn't bear to go through the motions; his absence was overwhelming.

And yet we were still a family, glued together with grace and forgiveness. We've tried new summer spots and forged a Christmas Eve tradition for the three of us. Family isn't about holding on, although there is beauty in heirlooms.

Instead, it's my Sister knowing I will need her before I realize it, and she's in the car crossing states to help me unpack. It's an "everything will be okay" ethos that we borrow from one another.

i carry your heart (in my heart). e.e. cummings

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