Yesterday, Christmas Day, as many members of our family as could gathered for our annual Yule Tide dinner. One guest whose presences was always counted on attended only in spirit this year. Our Mother lay dieing this time last year. She left us a two days after the new year. Thus, her person did not attend.
One of our nieces to whom Mother left a diamond ring flew in from some Western state with her husband and with a new setting for the heirloom diamond. The ring was a true tribute to our Mother (her grandmother) as the off-set diamond sat next to a rose gold modern designed rose. Mother’s name was Rose. Also, my niece helped to prepare dinner wearing Mother’s apron and Christmas vest. One sister wore the Christmas pin that always adorned Mother’s coat throughout the season. My sisters, niece and I stood in the kitchen quietly warming ourselves in memories of the the dear woman we’d loved and lost.
That is why I was disappointed that at the dinner table, my brother-in-law, always conscious of any loss in the family, chose to say a silent grace, never mentioning the absence of Mother. Insead of just sitting at the table staring into my food, I should have said something. Overly conscious that this was not my house, I let the moment pass. This is an omission that I will live with for a long time, my consolation being that Mother has already forgiven my brother-in-law and forgiven me.