I am sitting here on the couch in my mother-in-laws house. It's been a couple of years since we have been here.
We have not yet opened presents -- we are waiting for my brother-in-law and my nieces to arrive. I am making my fluffy scrambled eggs for breakfast, having discovered that what we thought was pancake mix was in fact mashed potatoes. This waiting is a sign of growing up, or old -- we now no longer get up at the break of dawn so that the kids can quench their curiosity.
This has been a good, if bittersweet, trip. We visited with a good friend from college, who has stage four cancer. He was upbeat and strong, as he always has been, with the only dark note sounded as we left. "See you later," said the Rocket Scientist. "I hope so,"replied our friend.
I keeping thinking of Nadia. Several years ago it was on Christmas Day that she had the seizure that indicated that the brain cancer had returned. Unbeknownst to all of us at the time, the cancer was more advanced than we thought, and she died in mid-June.
I miss her. I look at her daughters, and can see her written in their faces, in their personalities. They are wonderful girls.
I have no idea what I am getting (other than I accidentally caught a glimpse of Nate Silver's new book in the closet, which was on my Amazon.com wish list) and don't particularly care. Just being around each other matters. There is a calm that has not always been present in Christmases past, and it surrounds and comforts me. While I recognize that it is still early, and there is always the chance for disaster, I think this is going to be a very good day.
Tomorrow we leave to see Mom. I am looking forward to this immensely -- I worry every time I see her that it will be the last.
That is true of everyone here. For once, I have a feeling of how important it is to experience and appreciate the moment you are in, because it will never come again, and you never know when you will have all those you love around you.
I wish you and yours a peaceful and happy Christmas.