Thursday, November 23, 2006

Ex Post Feasto

Dinner is over. We are as stuffed as once was the turkey, and drowsy from the overload of tryptophan. My mother’s dear friend Gabriella provided a filling and succulent repast. Together with her daughter and my cousin, they left little for either me or my mother to do. They even washed and put away the dishes. My mother and I are grateful as we are both suffering stress–born cumulative exhaustion.

My father didn’t come down. He just wasn’t strong enough. He remained in bed, in his pajamas. We brought up his dinner, most of which he pecked at. (He’s lost nearly thirty pounds.) Downstairs, I sat at the head of the Thanksgiving table for the first time, a poor stand–in—though I remind myself that I am to own the role hereafter.

We took our deserts upstairs. My dad was clearly by cheered by our presence. He became more animated and talkative than I’d seen in a while. He also vigorously consumed a slice of my mother’s sole contribution to the meal: her famous “not from canned” pumpkin pie. (Yes, I realize that the pie did require some effort of my mother. But it was her election, not obligation. And using a prepared crust made things simpler.) Afterwards, my mother told us that he really enjoyed having people to talk to. He had clearly appreciated recent visits by several colleagues and former students, chatting with them for hours. So please visit him, if you can.

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