I took the bright red tablecloth off the shelf and gave it a giant snapping foof to unfold it. On our table it went,.in preparation for Christmas dinner. Of course, I had to stop to admire the tiny stitches in the hem. I could never do that; but my mother could. And every year as I perform this ritual, she is there telling me what to do next and to please get on with it.
While I am in the kitchen, Ham is in the living room carefully taking out the tiny tree that was his mother’s. When all the children had left home, this is the tree that we continue to use each and every year. We welcome this old friend knowing that his mom is overseeing it’s placement.
These two women have been gone over twenty five years. But every year they remind us of the continuity and importance of family and the rituals that bind each member together.
The Lakota (Sioux) knew how to express it best. “I shall see you again in the eye of my heart. All my relatives----every one of us.” And, they remind us, Le arjpet’u was,te! Or “Today’s a good day to live.!’