Today was so luscious in that it seemed to flow by easily. There were things to be done, of course, but mostly we were just together. You woke Dad at 6:30; you two let me sleep in until a time I won't mention here. Once we were all up, you painted, we read and ate and drank coffee. We spent a bit of time discussing Thanksgiving dinner (to be held here, with over 10 people) and we did some chores. I know more must have happened, but I suppose there is no shame in a slow day.
After dinner, we went to a private opening of a holiday gift shop. We wouldn't normally do this sort of thing, but your former nanny Julie invited us. We went around looking at the beautiful ornaments and buying a few gifts. Dad and I decided that it's probably time to think about how we discuss the upcoming holiday season. We want to have a tree, but we'll not call it a Christmas tree. You fell in love with a big, plastic, horse ornament so now we must get a tree; this plastic horse will not fit on a neat wreath. It was good to see Julie. 18 months ago she was given 3 months to live, after receiving the devastating melanoma diagnosis. She looked thin, but well. You didn't respond to the difference in appearance -- you sat on her lap and kissed her goodbye. You love her so much, and time with her is bittersweet. Of course I want to lunch with her, to see holiday bazaars and laugh together about your quirks. But another part of me doesn't want to set you up for more sadness: the older you get, the more loss you will feel when she is gone. But isn't that a part of life? How long can I shelter you? (Or is it really myself I am protecting?)