I’ve tried several times over the last few weeks to tell you of how life is right now. Anniversaries that no one else sees pass daily: the day my mom told me which dress to wear at her funeral, the day she gave away her jewelry, her last batch of Thanksgiving cornbread stuffing. On this night a year ago, my mom went out to dinner for the last time. I missed it, got lost, wandering endless suburban streets up north around the wrong country club. My middle brother had a gig and we were all going to hear him—my youngest brother and sister-in-law were in town—and be together with Mom. My phone died and directions from a guy at a gas station sent me, again!, to the wrong place. By the time I reached someone, they were leaving in 20 minutes, so I just went home, distraught.
My youngest brother is in town again today, and my other brother has a gig at that same country club again, and we are all going again to hear him sing tonight. My mother and sister-in-law are no longer with us and won’t be there in body. But they will be with us in spirit. For we learned to sing from my mother’s beautiful voice, and my sister-in-law’s sense of fun always infused family gatherings with a Texas-sized infectiousness.
This Thanksgiving, we sat around the table, with its two holes of presence, eating and telling stories and laughing, inhaling my sister-in-law’s wonderful, perfect replica of my mom’s cornbread stuffing. We toasted Mom and Krissy, their love still present in all of us. We didn’t talk about them a whole lot; the wounds are still so fresh. But as we set the glasses down after the toast, I felt led to tell them of the property of Light, that light never ends, that the photons that met and melded with our mother and Krissy were in and around us even then, now, forever…that because we are made of and live in light, we truly never end, and they are with us.
May this comfort those of you who face “the holidays” without those you love. And so, as more anniversaries come in the next few weeks—some flowing like water, others hitting like a mallet—I know they are still present, in endless ways, like light.