Sunday, January 06, 2019

Reflective moments

My dinner companions

Dinner last night with two old and dear friends—both, like me, former doctors’ wives, one divorced, as I am, and one widowed. We talked of ex-husbands and good times and people we knew and now wonder about and those halcyon days when we thought we had the world on a strong. It’s been a long fifty years since we met, and our paths have diverged, but I am so grateful that we can still remember and laugh and mourn together—and toast our good fortune. The talk got me reflecting back on my life and marriage—when my husband left, I was devastated, afraid I could not raise four children on my own. But he gave me the greatest gift, besides giving me the four children. I found out I could do it and with some degree of success—they are all happy with good careers and families of their own, and I am so proud of them and so sorry he never shared in the joy of watching them mature and never was part of the “family” we became. And I am grateful that he freed me to pursue a career of my own, instead of focusing my life on being a doctor’s wife. I may not have hit the bestseller list or overseen publication of a work that shook the halls of academia, but it’s been a good and rewarding career.

Another reflective moment: Jacob was an acolyte at church today, probably his last stint in
that role. He’s aged out. Generally, children do it in fifth or sixth grade or through their twelfth year, which means he could do it until spring. But I think he’s done, so it was a bittersweet moment—and a different experience since the church was set up for the Boar’s Head Festival and he had to improvise a bit on the candle lighting and snuffing. In honor of the occasion, lots of pictures, including one with the senior minister. But I like the one with his grandmother best.

And tonight, a small gathering of people I care about for Twelfth Night. When I was a kid, my neighbor/adopted aunt always had a Twelfth Night ceremony whereby you threw a branch of the tree into the fire and made a wish. The kids and I have continued the tradition for years. With Jordan, it’s grown beyond family to something we share with others. She did her usual magic job of entertaining tonight, with a happy hour spread and plentiful wine. The night was slightly chilly but we all gathered around the fire pit to throw our greens and make our wishes and enjoy the warmth of the fire. Christian had gotten some pinion to burn with the firewood, and it smelled wonderful, even if smoke did get into our eyes and hair. One of those moments when I felt so blessed. And no, I’m not telling what my

wish was—that would ruin the whole thing.

Now I’m inside, hearing voice from Jordan, Christian, and a friend who lingered and seeing the flames. Next year we need Graham crackers and Hershey bars and marshmallows.

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