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I was preparing a long post with all the details of how we marked the 2nd Anniversary of my brother’s death, but right about when I started getting into the details of exactly what kind of pancakes we all had at The Golden Nugget I realized that it was a bit ridiculous.  So here’s the short version.  Attempt at morning Mass (14 cleaned off my car for me – what a great guy!), apparently Wednesday is the only weekday that Holy Angels doesn’t have 8:30 Mass, breakfast at Golden Nugget with Dad, Mariah, Indy, The Duchess, Boy-O and 14, then home for a short nap and attempt at headache remediation.  Noon Mass at St. Joseph’s (only one handkerchief’s worth of tears – not bad), then over to the Family Homestead where I and Indy ended up crafting while 14 fell asleep on the couch (I am now almost done with the first of the Winter Wonder Mittens – just half a thumb to go).  Then watching youtube videos while people slowly arrived for dinner, and then dinner all together.  We had Mom, Dad, Indy, The Duchess, 007 (thankfully recovering from the evil rotgut stomach flu that took him down for a few days), Rosie, Boy-O, Mariah, Sae, Mr. T, and Big Brother on speakerphone (14 had headed off for Men’s Group, so he wasn’t there).

It is good to be together at times like this.  I have to keep reminding myself of that.  When I am grieving, most often my first instinct is to go off alone someplace, and get my crying done before I have to come out and be among people again.  But it’s good to be with my family, to know that we are all going through the same thing, even if we express it in different ways.  It is good to know that with this group of people, I do not have to pretend to be ok.

After dinner, we distributed Aunt C’s Christmas Grab Bags, then helped finish cleaning up, and little by little headed off to our separate homes.  This is good-bye for a while for us.  The Duchess heads back to Philadelphia today, along with 007.  The Absent-Minded Professor is already back at school, and AnniPotts is down in Texas being comforted by her sweet kindergartners.  The next time we will be all together will probably be Sae’s wedding at the end of May, or maybe Easter.  Those seem very far away right now.

And now we go on.  This year was not as bad as last year.  Hopefully next year will be better.