Yet another Christmas ...
Dorian and I de-decorated the tree this morning; the earliest deconstruction on record. Its needles were already shedding badly when we brought it home on Christmas Eve. Probably left the forest about three months ago, and -- despite the fading green still visible in its needles -- it surely died soon after the cutting. It seemed fitting to remove the time-collected holiday fancies from its branches and lay it to rest.
Everyone was gathered around the hearth (except for Rick), but the pain of his early death has lessened now and feels more like a resolution to a life of torment than the tearing away of one I still miss, though the missing is less active than before. In place of the pain and guilt that invariably accompanies the loss of a son, I'm now experiencing a deeper appreciation for those still with me.
I worry about my 18-year-old grandson -- but know that he'll eventually survive a troubled adolescence into young adulthood because he is so loved by us all. "Ms. Hermione Ginglehopper" looks reasonably well-launched with a steady love and a brand new Yorky-Maltese puppy, Sophia. The two little ones, Alyana and Tamaya, are vibrant and consuming life in beautiful ways right now -- they're learning and growing and adoring ... I have such pride in them all.
Bob is quiet -- there was little time to catch up with his life, but I'm reading his thoughts and finding a new appreciation for his life on the horse ranch in San Juan Baptista now that he, too, is blogging. He brought me a very contemporary gift only possible through technology. It's an introduction to a philosopher he's discovered -- he'd taken the time to download several hours of a very special documentary produced by the BBC. It reminded me of the day long ago when he gave me a book he'd discovered saying, "...this book changed my life, Mom." It was something about "...a small planet" (can't recall the exact name but it had to do with his introduction to organic foods somewhere along the way in his travels, I believe." At any rate, I then introduced him to the "Adele Davis Cookbook," with the comment. "This is the book that changed my life." Now we'll exchange philosophers, and it feels good -- appropriate.
David and I will work together on getting Reid's (our store) online early in the new year, and that feels good. It's been something I've wanted to do with him for years but the pressure of running the family business while a single parent fathering four children always proved too consuming for new ventures. We may have finally reached the place where we can do that now.
Christmas seemed bittersweet this year. It surely is related to so many deaths over the past 3 months; some near, some distant -- but all traumatic and reminders of the fragility of life.
Enough of that:
Received the preliminary draft (ready for release) of the March 2006 recipients of those women being honored by the National Women's History Project, "Community Builders". I'm listed as "Betty Reid Soskin, Cultural Anthropologist" for want of a title, I suppose. Made me feel more important than I did yesterday -- and maybe that's okay. Not sure what I would have called myself had I been asked.
Also had a call from the "Labor Something Something of San Francisco" asking if I would agree to being interviewed for a radio (KPFA) show on racial discrimination in the labor movement, and -- while we were at it -- would I be willing to serve on a panel on the same subject next July? Next July??? Laughed and told him that I don't buy green bananas these days ... despite the fact that my bank has granted me another 30 years on the last refinance of my condo!
Didn't realize until that exchange that I really am beginning to have some doubt about longevity.
Maybe it is all those deaths ... .
Photo: David's daughters, Alyana and Tamaya.