Yesterday was Thanksgiving. This is the holiday and Aunt Belle does at Judy's. Aunt Belle really had a part of every holiday - at least four desserts - but this was the biggie. Rather than Aunt Belle doing Thanksgiving at Judy's, the whole family went to Judy's machetunum's house. That's because this is the first Thanksgiving without Aunt Belle. After 94 (almost 95!) years, Aunt Belle passed away last week.
Aunt Belle was like my second Bubby. She took us to do things as if we were our Bubby, even when my Bubby was still alive. It was when she died (11 years ago!), though that Aunt Belle really became my second Bubby. She was always up on my life. She knew everything that was going on, because she asked and because she cared.
Most of my interaction with Aunt Belle in the last ten years was at holidays and family gatherings. She always arrived with at least four desserts, and she took her seat. For dinner it was at the end of a big table, and after dinner, she sat on the couch. Everyone took their turn to go say hello and talk to Aunt Belle. She couldn't really hear what we were saying, so we mostly could just look at her, smile and answer her questions as loud as we could. She would always have a hand on us - on the arm or the leg - and she would smile and say "love you."
Every time I said goodbye to Aunt Belle in the past four years, I thought that it could be the last. Once she reached 90, I had no idea what to expect. Not only did she show up the next time I was home, but her four desserts came with her. Finally, when we left this year in May, it actually was the last time I got to see her.
I called her for her birthday, and the conversation went like this:
"AUNT BELLE, IT'S MEL."
"NO, IT'S MEL"
"Call back and leave a message."
I don't really understand what holidays will be like without Aunt Belle. Now that whole generation of my mom's side of our family is gone. There is no more matriarch. It will just be totally different.
And...on the other hand, it will be totally different for me, because I will now bring my own child to holidays (if we ever make it home again!). I suppose it's the circle of life...and it's really happening.
In other news, I still feel very weak and sore, so I have slowed down mine and Samara's activity. We have tried to do one thing per day, but other than that, we wake up late, go get coffee and run an errand if we have one and mostly just play at home. She's really interactive with people - she will try to get your attention if you start talking to someone else, and she smiles and coos a lot. She also smiles at stuffed animals and other things that have faces. She is really happy sitting in this Fisher Price bouncy chair that someone donated to us. She can sit in it all day, sleep, put herself back to sleep, play, bounce...Last night we were at someone's house who had the same chair, but it had an arch of animals that lit up and moved, and Samara sat in the chair for at least a half hour laughing, smiling and cooing at the animals (we are now looking for a used version of that chair!). She's so fun to be around...that every time I think about going back to work I want to cry.
We are headed to our second of four Thanksgiving meals this weekend! We are especially thankful for our friends who are feeding us fantastic food! Happy thanksgiving!