Two tickets...too far to go to family this year. Dinner with closest friends. Niece Jeanie, newly remembered. Raisin challah and honey, wine, apples and candles.
Bob carries home the groceries. Adele will bring the fish. Chicken, noodle kugel and tzimmes. Bob peels and slices sweet potatoes, carrots, apples. Working together well as in days gone by. Bob sharpens his knife on the stone.
In the morning, he's tired, wants to sleep. I go alone.
When guests arrive, he says "Who?" Groggily.
"Why are you here?"
"Aren't you glad to see me?" Jeanie is confused.
"Do you want us to go home?"
On the surface, I am doing so well, but the hurt is buried deep. A melody on Saturday mornings brings me to tears, as it was sung so sweetly at the funeral last year. The gravesite which felt like an open field where the Army Sargeant played taps on his cornet is now row on row of similar granite monuments.