Contemplating the odd mix of feelings erupting inside me after our virtual Christmas with Shane, Cory and their families yesterday, the meadow path welcomed with its familiarity. The fresh air imbibing and after each lap some groundedness that was lacking in the vacuum left after the on-line party.

Nostalgia for not having sons little enough to wake up to Santa’s overflow of gifts beneath the tree? Nostalgia for my own origin family not really being a source of comfort but wishing for it anyway? Or for not wrapping my arms around my sons, especially the one living so far away.

Relaxing my guard somewhat I have hugged Shane at his outdoor campfire gatherings with both of us masked up. But Cory, so far away, missing him so. Shane had planned on heading there tomorrow for a week, but with the virus spreading so rapidly that trip was cancelled. My relief is tempered by my telling Cory not to do it leaving me with a bit a regret.

Perhaps they could have done it and got away with it like they did for a week at Cape Cod in the summer? The thought of Cory not seeing us, or his brother…. Is he sad about it? Is he OK? And of course he is as her family is large, close, like on the same road close including brothers and cousins. They are careful not to celebrate indoors by planning a large garage party today. Shane is gathering with in-laws later today despite my warnings not to.

The dichotomy of celebration alongside pain, suffering, and death is a hard one to digest. Snippets of ICU’s on the news showing patients unconscious on breathing tubes hit hard making it real. Sifting through feelings; acceptance, defeat, powerlessness, nostalgia, empty nest, wistfulness for a past never wanting to live again, a mix to feel as each one moves through leaving at its core a woman at peace. Prayers for all…

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