Monday, October 31, 2011

Dear Brother

Happy birthday today! It was nice getting an e-mail from you the other day, though I'm pretty sure Mom shamed you into it. Wonder if I will get any comment on the package I sent you, with JR's knockout carrot cake cupcakes, belated birthday gifts for KE and AH and the card for you?

I doubt it. And since your email told me that you're going to hockey tournaments for your eldest and therefore will be in Lake Placid for Thanksgiving, the house in PA for Christmas and Ottawa a few days after that,  obviously we won't be seeing you at the holidays.

Never mind that, Mom and Dad won't be seeing you at the holidays. Remember them--the nice old couple not too far away in the Bronx? The folks who aren't rich and shiny and cool, but who love you infinitely and long to be a part of your life and the lives of your kids?

You said "the kids don't have a lot of family", but part of that is because you've cut off our part of the family. You have Mom and Dad. You have us. But there's always a reason for us not to be together.

Saturday after next the Man is going up with his sister to New York to bring my father-in-law down here to live in assisted living, because our cousin can no longer manage his care. The apartment they have lived in for 50 years, where we've all gathered through the years for holidays will be gone. We will probably never all have a Christmas together that way again. And every time I think of it, I cry.

Every year I have bitched about traveling for holidays,but I have always known how damn lucky I am to have my parents, to have my in-laws, to have all those lovely family gatherings, and I have treasured them.

I will treasure this Thanksgiving with Mom and Dad, hoping that Dad is well enough to enjoy it.
I will be glad to share Christmas with them too.

But I will miss my Christmas with Tatay and my brothers-in-law and our cousin and my sister-in-law and nieces and nephews. With Nanay when she was with us but even after with her spirit hovering over us all.

The Man says you can't know what you've missed because you never knew it was there to miss. But I know that you've missed something that your wealth can never buy.

Family.

You have the money. We don't. But I think we are much, much richer.

I miss you and I love you

Your Big Sister

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