The day was completely relaxed and focused around the discovery of presents and new objects, books, savories, and music to become familiar throughout the year. We went to visit my dad who had some odd things to say, but Christmas with a brain injury is like any other day with a brain injury. I accidentally texted a friend my dad's strange pronouncement when I had meant to send it to Mac. Luckily for me, this friend is incredibly gracious and kind and understanding, and took this glimpse into not only my dad's strange world, but how I deal with it (by immediately sharing the strangeness with Mac so that he helps me bear it - in every sense of the word) in stride. It was strange, too, in that moment to realize how constantly conversations about my dad flow between me and Mac, and how completely odd they must seem to anyone else. I'm not explaining that well - the strangeness has something to do with a powerful guilt I felt at inflicting this on my friend (the strangeness and the sadness, and the push to laugh instead of cry); a guilt assuaged by her kindness and good will, thus my gratitude to her. Sometimes, I wish that I could write about my dad's brain injury every day, or rather, that it were a more quotidian and mundane occurrence to do so - I think about it every day after all - but then this would be a very different kind of writing place, wouldn't it? Brain injury is kind of overwhelming and all-encompassing if you let it be. And it would make sense that on a holiday, it would somehow become more significant - as though we can't help but notice the loss of him more. But we laughed and so it was ok, and the kids were, as ever, great (Iris greatly intrigued by my dad wearing one black glove). We'll go see him again tomorrow with Eleanor, who was napping at home at the time, and who was totally distraught that she missed seeing him. This is why I must constantly take my cue from the kids, and not from myself, in struggling to know and love my dad now that he's a completely different person. I think that it's their trust in the reality of the present that makes a lot of things make sense to children - that helps.
Both of their thoughts are inscrutable to me, but this is the love I want to understand.
- Broccoli cream soup with wild mushrooms and shallots
- Coffee-braised beef chuck roast with orange and cinnamon
- Brussel sprouts in garlic butter
- Mashed turnips