Hello, everyone; I hope that you all have and are having a happy Holiday season. This year's festivities are going to be somewhat, well, muted this year with Dad's passing and all. It's strange to have to say this but, well, it's almost, y'know, a relief that he's not suffering; I never wanted to hurt Iris's feelings or anything but there were times, a lot of times, when it looked as if he were as aware of his surroundings as you or I are. If that was the case, he's probably a lot better off now than he was. I can still remember that last week as if last May was yesterday; John and I were sitting in the kitchen reading a 'dead-tree letter' (as April would call it) from our youngest at Bev's farm and trying to figure out why she went directly there after University let out when we got the call from the hospital. For a man that sick, he took a long time dying which was hard on all of us; I wish I could say that there wasn't an argument, but, well, someone got into a tizzy about Dad's old mouth organ. The surprising thing was that that person was Iris; y'see, she'd expected April to send Dad off with the noisy thing and Liz's giving it to someone who could use it didn't sit too well. And you're never going to believe this! Remember all those times he was saying Boxcar? He was asking after his harmonica; that's because it was a Bocks-Carr Limited Edition! In any event, it was a nice service despite everything; heck, April and Liz even buried the hatchet.
Speaking of Liz, things with her, Anthony, Francie and Jamie are going as well as can be expected; Liz drops them off here to play with Robin every morning and picks them up after work. I can't help but feel a little jealous that she went back to work so soon after their child was born but, well, it beats starting to resent them. I just wish that Anthony's daughter wasn't so, well, hard to handle. She doesn't say anything nasty or do anything out of the ordinary but she has that odd look in her eyes that her mother's family has, a look that says "Stay out of my sight, Pattersaint!!" (I know perfectly well what people like her and Mike's harridan of a mother-in-law call us when they think I can't hear them.) It's not out fault that her marriage didn't last, it just wasn't meant to be. To think that way is like thinking that Mike could have ended up living anywhere other than where he grew up.
Speaking of which, his literary career is doing well; he's got a deal in place to have his books made into television movies and has been on several news programs. What's even better is that thanks to the miracle of the Internet, he only has to go to the city once a month or so. It's too bad that Dee has to commute, though; this pharmacy job her mother wished on her is wearing her out. She could use a change for the better; perhaps she could make a job of sewing and have time for her family.
As for our family, it's sort of odd to have to be Grandma after having been Mom for so long; I still feel like a mother a lot of the time, you see. To be specific, a mother who doesn't quite understand why April is staying at her brother's place this year. She's polite enough but there's something nasty about her remark about John and I needing alone time. Sometimes, of course, I think that she's earned the right to be a bit upset; we never meant for the bad stuff to happen so it'd be nice if she wouldn't make such a big deal of things.
Well, anyway, we didn't let the past get in the way of Christmas itself; it's a thing for the kids so grown-up hassles shouldn't interfere. Here's hoping you have a great new year and never have to deal with guilty people who think that stuff can substitute for being a mother.