Tonight we went caroling with my brother Kevin and his family and several other families from their church. I hadn't been caroling in years and I don't think the girls had ever been so we were excited. The plan was to visit 3 homes belonging to some of the elderly members of their congregation.
I bundled us all up thinking we'd be singing outside but we showed up at the first house and the husband and wife asked us in. You know the old joke about how many (fill in the blank) can you fit in a --- fill in the blank with a noun like car, or phone booth or on top of a toothpick. It was kind of like that. How many carolers can you fit into a small home?
Apparently quite a few. I think there was about 25 of us and we all fit in this living room. We finished singing and the woman offered us all a piece of fudge. Yum. We hopped back in our cars and off to the next house. On the way something happened to Emma.
She developed Wet Noodlitis.
Either that or she fell asleep. We showed up at the second house and were invited in again. We sang a range of Christmas songs and were offered:
Cookies! This caroling ain't half bad. I decided on the spot that if my children complain of being hungry between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve I'm sending them out on the streets to carol.
Back into the cars again and off to the third house. Emma began to wake up as we sang inside the house. (Who knew caroling was an indoor sport now?) The woman at the third house had invited her children and grandchildren to listen and several times she spoke and she seemed close to tears. When we finished singing she said she remembered them singing for her and her husband the year before and what a wonderful memory it was for her. It was obvious to me that her husband was no longer there.
When we finished singing her children and grandchildren offered us apple cider and sugar cookies.
These cookies just melted in your mouth. They were amazing. While we ate Emma and I sat on the stairs by the front door and the elderly woman came over to talk to us.
"I'm sorry for your loss." I told her.
She smiled softly and I added "I lost my husband almost 3 years ago." I said it as though it was the password to a secret society, a group united by tragedy and loss.
She patted my hand. "I know. I remember from your brother. But your loss is greater than mine. I had 59 1/2 years with my husband and you had so much less."
I wanted to say something but I stayed silent. Which was worse? Living with someone for most of your life and suddenly trying to figure out how to survive without them or living with someone for 10 years, planning a future together and having it all yanked away? And whose to say they are even comparable? Why does one have to be worse than the other?
Our attention turned to Emma, who was beginning to scream for a bottle and the woman moved on to thank others for coming. Soon we left and went back to Kevin and Janne's house for Hot Fudge pudding.
Is this stuff even legal??? When Janne' moved the dish to cut it it jiggled. Yum. It tasted as good as it looked.
Now, lest you think that I'm the only crazy one in my family let me show you this:
My brother Kevin holding Ryan, who was utterly fascinated with the hat on Kevin's head. It must run in the family. Sources have told me that Kevin has some wicked dance moves. Maybe there's a dance off in our future.
5 weeks ago