It’s 12:30 a.m. and my guests have just left. I’m standing in front of the window, at the kitchen sink, doing dishes and thinking: “This is NOT my job! It’s yours, Mick MacIsaac!! I’m the official cook and table setter and YOU’RE the dishwasher and otherwise helper of all things entertaining… Why am I doing YOUR job?” But no, this is no longer my normal. Just as I’m thinking that I really could ask the boys to do the dishes, to share in the entertaining duties, my eldest, Iain, comes into the kitchen and says: “Hey Mom, I’ll do the dishes.” My heart warms and I tell him that no thanks, I appreciate the offer but I’ll take care of it. He can go back to playing his computer game with his brother because hearing them laugh and tease each other makes me even happier than having them do the dishes!
Besides, as I am doing said dishes, I am sort of meditating, composing this post and just thinking random thoughts. This was my first official dinner party since Mick’s passing ~ it was only fitting that it be with one of Mick’s oldest and dearest friends, Andre, and his wife, Tammy. I admit to having some trepidation at having them over on my own as, no matter how much they love me (and I know they do), I cannot help thinking this is Mick’s friend, not mine, and they are coming here because they feel obligated to and there will be discomfort. I am very happy to say there was none of that. Yes, we did reminisce about Mick, which is kind of normal considering this was our first time seeing each other since his funeral. We were even joined by the neighbours Robert & Julie for a bottle of wine (or two) before dinner as they also wanted to connect with A & T and share some moments. (I tried inviting them to stay for dinner but they declined….)
Preparing this dinner, setting the table, buying the wine ~ all these normal activities ~ brought a sadness and wistfulness at first. We used to share in these duties. I may have even gotten misty-eyed a couple of times during the day. But then, as the time of their arrival got nearer, I felt a sense of Yes, I am happy to share my table with friends, to break bread (if I had remembered to buy some) with them, toast the man who brought us into each others’ lives and laugh at our various adventures we had had with him. In his honour, I made all of his favourites: Carrot-bacon soup (though Andre thought I was making his favourite!), penne à la Gigi, salad in frico cheese bowls and finally, key lime pie… It was a simple way of having Mick be with us (besides hanging around in his bottle of Coke on the mantel!)
We felt close to each other, set a date for our next get-together (oh dear… my annual “drink-shooters-with-the-boys-for-Andre’s-birthday-night”), hugged tightly and promised to not lose touch with each other. I’m feeling optimistic!
I think I am slowly finding my new normal…