Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Thanksgiving with Strangers
My mother loved Macy's annual Thanksgiving Parade. I liked the floats and balloons, but didn't have the patience to sit through the tedium of all those marching bands and teen celebrity singers in order to see them. Anyway, Thanksgiving is one of those holidays for Happy People.
Maybe you can understand why I am not in a very thankful mood this year. My mother and I struggled through another lousy New England winter, and just as Spring was coming, she died suddenly, alone and in terrible pain. I drank my way into the hospital, all the while enduring violations from my sister, who never lifted her finger to help while Mom was alive, from the creditors, from the auctioneers, and even from my employer. I'm living in the midst, literally, of the crumbling remains of my mother's former life, trying to make the best of things, piecing together my scrapbook of memories. I suppose I could be thankful for the prospect of a better future, but that's still uncertain.
I can't even be thankful for a day off. My lawyer has twisted my arm into spending Thanksgiving at her house, with her relatives, all strangers to me. I'm not comfortable with any part of this. All I wanted was to spend the day packing and cleaning, to maybe buy a pre-cooked breast of turkey and share it with my cats. Instead I have to be "thankful" in a group of people that I don't know and have nothing in common with. If anything will test my ability to refrain from drinking during the day, this will be it.
Not sure if I will even try to watch the parade this year. The day will be depressing enough without it.