I will be home for Christmas. A year in which two close family members died, and the news of a distant cousin's death came on Thursday.
Since my mother's death Christmas has become a difficult time each year. She passed on December 23rd, forever changing how I celebrate.
This photo drew me in as soon as I saw it because it reminded me of the table setting at my maternal grandparent's home in Pennsylvania, including the bird cages. I look at it and I'm a little girl again, excited to be sitting at the table with everyone.
Click on image to see it larger.
But this table is someone else's memory. The note on the bottom of the photo says a lot:
Christmas 1945 • Bill home from warThere's a lot to think about with this shot, no matter how simple it appears. Was this Bill's family home? Or was it the home he shared with his wife? Did Bill return from the war physically and mentally unscathed?
There are a lot of dinner tables that will be celebrating returned loved ones on Thursday. People broken by war sitting amongst family who now feel like strangers. Awkward conversations with close friends whose lives moved in different directions. Memories of the horrors they've seen and unable or unwilling to share those memories with those who stayed home. Momentary vacant stares, searching for a memory, good or bad, that somehow makes sense of why they are seated at the table.
So here's to the families who must struggle to find Christmas each year because of the cards they were dealt in life. Some of us have to search a little harder to find meaning in the holidays, sometimes time is all we have to work with. And sometimes time is enough.
This is my holiday contribution to Sepia Saturday.
to find the perfect gifts for those hard to buy for friends.