• Jody Kussin

#92 Table for Two

#92 In These Times

Family Matters, by Dr. Jody Kussin

At this little table, the décor is mostly missing. In fact, the table is full of missing leaves, extra chairs, doubled tablecloths. There is no overflow of food, one starch favorite per child, resulting in sweet potatoes and marshmallows, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing (two varieties), corn bread, rolls, biscuits, and sometimes homemade mac n cheese in addition. There are no songbooks, stained from years of use, generated first decades ago, when the eldest started kindergarten and all wanted to ‘sing with Sammy.’ There are no chocolate turkeys, no Sees candy at each seat, no turkey hats and no pinecone turkeys.

At this little table, the loved ones are mostly missing. The young adult children and their loves, in town visiting for the UCLA-USC game and the holiday, they are missing. Missing also are the nephews, home fresh from afar, as well as the two Muppet Men brothers-in-law, who perfected the art of frying turkeys, drinking beer, holding court with kids, not burning down the house, and feigning grumpiness.

At this little table, the cacophony of sounds of reunion, relaxation, reconnection – they are missing. The traditions are missing. The laughter, giddiness, shouting. It is all missing. At this little table, the abundance of family and food and overflowing desserts moved to another table, it is all missing.

However, at this little table, sits a husband and wife, with 40 years behind them, and hopefully, many ahead. At this little table, the center piece is a two-way memory window…it shows the past and predicts the future, and the photos of what was and what will yet to be are both full of love and blessing. At this little table, we recognize many have much less in their lives, and there is nothing unique about us. It is just that it is, for this moment, just us.

At this little table, we are on pause. We are at a moment in history, waiting for less loss and more hope and life ahead.

At this little table, despite all that is not, we recognize all the blessings that are.

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