Powered by
Movable Type 3.2

December 17, 2010

Silver Linings and Golden Memories

Life stuff

Well, the silver lining here is that I have been reunited with my computer - and thus am more or less back to blogging - a week earlier than scheduled.

The reason why this is a silver lining and not just good news is that the reason why I'm back at my parents' house (where I left the computer) a week earlier than expected is for a funeral. My maternal grandmother's sister Margaret passed away a few days ago. She was 92 and had a good, long life, and had been ill for several years, so we are sad but not shocked. Deaths around the holidays always take on a slightly weird quality, don't they? The family will gather tomorrow, and after the funeral we'll probably go to some restaurant or someone's house, and things will be muted but when it comes down to it it won't be all that different from when we gather again next week for Christmas or the week after for New Year's Day. And that's as it should be, I suppose: holidays always bring up thoughts and memories of lost loved ones, so these accidents of timing only add immediacy to the bittersweet layer that always lurks just under the holiday joy.

Aunt Margaret had been too ill to attend most family events the past few years, so once - I think it was two Christmases ago - my parents and brother and I went to see her at her assisted living apartment after our main Christmas gathering. My dad and I both got new digital cameras that year, so we had them with us and kept taking pictures of everything - and each other - and Aunt Margaret thought that was hilarious. That's one of the few really specific holiday memories I have of her, so I'm happy that it's such a fun one. Mostly I remember her as a constant presence at family events, not as loud and gregarious as many members of the family, but always there with blunt opinions, a sense of humor, and a warm heart. And so the fabric of the family and of the holiday has changed this Christmas, as it always does, as it will keep doing each year, and we "muddle through somehow" with our memories of the past and hopes for the future.

Updated to add: Aunt Margaret was the one who made struffoli - traditional Italian Christmas honey cookies - every year, so I was delighted to find this on The Awl today.

Posted by Kat at December 17, 2010 05:55 PM

So sorry for your loss. Your post nails the awkwardness of losing someone so close to the holidays, too.

Posted by: Amy at December 17, 2010 06:49 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Page design by fluffa! Hosted at prettyposies.com. Powered by Movable Type 3.2