Hello all. Where to begin?
I'll start with a shot of the cutting table at present. I was snapping this photo yesterday when I received the call that my father-in-law had died. The project has remained untouched ever since, a reminder of sudden upset and a shift in the week's priorities. We were able to get Isaac out the door almost immediately. He's flown to Washington to comfort and support his mother and siblings. I wish we had been able to secure travel for me and the kids to go with him at that time. I adore my in-laws and am hurting for their loss. From what I hear, their evening was filled with much singing, both solemn and light, as well as requisite tears and a sprinkling of laughter. A healthy farewell.
The news is still rather fresh and I haven't yet sorted through my feelings, (currently a jarbled ponder). I'm glad to be heading their way with my son on Friday to offer hugs and tears, whatever comfort I can lend. Until then, I've taken on the mantle of grand pie-maker, as a measure of support for my husband...
In Isaac's family, Thanksgiving can be a bigger deal than Christmas. And the fervor is most notably reflected in the pie-count. (I believe the record stands at 17 homemade pies for one Thanksgiving celebration.) Isaac has taken this tradition to heart and when we're not celebrating with the Baileys, the pie-making falls to us (mostly Isaac).
This was to be one of those years. So, Monday night, we set out as a family to gather supplies and foster that holiday feeling. We packed the fridge tight, with berries and butter and all sorts of yummy goodness, planning today as a full day of pie-making, with Elijah as apprentice. But then, with last night's terrible news, the prime pie-man headed out of town in a hurry.
On the way to the airport to drop him off, our discussion was focussed on pie and the logistics of successful pie-preparation. There was no talk of store-bought alternatives or even the weightier matters at hand. With this coversation, it became clear to me that these pies, especially this year, stand for more than good eats. In his buried grief, somewhere, Isaac wants the reassurance that Thanksgiving goes on, that pies go on, that life goes on. So tonight I make pies, lots and lots of pies: pies of love, pies of sympathy, pies of support, pies my husband would have made had our holiday gone as planned. Isaac will have his pies, even if he's not here to share them. And with this, I hold the hope that my husband will know he's loved.
So, today, I am thankful that the Baileys have Thanksgiving. That the love and laughter they share tomorrow will strengthen them through this painful time. I long to be there with them as they scurry about prepping all of the many necessary family traditions. I've never known a more passionate lot.