Monday, November 27, 2006

A rough Thanksgiving Saturday

My family does Turkey Day on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, has for decades. This helps keep the extended family in attendance without forcing everybody to choose between inlaws and outlaws (doubles the overeating, too).

For the past three years (since our wedding) Mrs Haruo and I have done Thursday Turkey with her family and Saturday with mine. Normally we would get a phone call or an email a couple weeks in advance letting us know the precise time and place and offering us a ride from the Park & Ride (since we have no car). This year no such phone call arrived, until Thursday morning about 10 am her brother called to say they were not doing Thanksgiving this year. He and his wife (each of whom apparently thought the other had called us) had just got back from a trip to Central and Eastern Europe a week ago, only to discover that their son and daughter-in-law had sold their house and bought another one some miles away, and had to be out of their old house by 5pm on Thanksgiving Day...

So I cooked up a batch of oyster stuffing and took it to the AA Hall and took in a bunch of turkey and an alcathon segment. Mrs Haruo stayed home and caught up on much needed sleep.

The Saturday dinner was scheduled for my brother Alan's house at 2pm, and we had a ride lined up. Then on Friday we got a call that the church choir (which I recently joined) was going to sing Eternal Father, Strong to Save at 1pm Saturday for the Memorial Service of G. Gordon Smith, one of the grand old men of Fremont Baptist Church (89 years old, 79 years a baptized member). So I got busy learning the bass line of MELITA and making sure I had the "wherever, Lord's" and the "wheresoe'ers" sorted out in my brain. Luckily my brother's is even closer to Fremont than we are, so we arranged for our ride to pick us up at the church at 1:50 instead of at our apartment at 1:45.

All went smoothly at the service, we sang well for being underrehearsed, etc. FWIW our pastor, Judy Gay, officiated. But then when we got in my cousin's car afterwards we were informed that my brother's mother-in-law had just died that morning, of liver cancer just diagnosed within the past week. And later, after dinner, we learned that my uncle By (who had been in hospice without life supports for several days) had died that morning too. He was 94, so he needed no one's permission to die, but still it is sad to think that his 95th birthday party coming up in January will be his last, and that he won't be there to crack jokes. (I imagine he'll hear the bluegrass, though, and that's the main thing.)

So it was a very death-conscious turkey day hereabouts. Prayers would be welcome for all of us affected by these passings.


In Meta-Memoriam: My uncle By's In Prayse of Cattes.


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