empresspatti (empresspatti) wrote,
empresspatti
empresspatti

Under the Protection of the Cow Demon

OR
Mourning is not a linear activity
OR
How I can never again remind Mr. Wonderful of the time he gave me the same sweater I gave my Mother for Christmas.

All of the above apply.

This year Christmas was the bomb.com. My beloved Maryland will always feel like my truest home base. It’s the place where my Parents live on the same street as our daughter. My brother, his wife & the twins plus my son traveled from California. Tom and I slogged our way from Georgia. It’s been a long time since we were all together and it was WONDERFUL.

All those summers my brother sent the twins to stay with Grandparents and Aunt Patti have long established a close family with lots of good memories and traditions. For some people, Christmas Cards are things you send and receive in the mail. For us its cutthroat games of Hand & Foot, always boys against girls, complete with trash talk and revenge matches.

Food was consumed. Gifts were lavished. Laughter happened. It was nourishing and special.

THEN - Mr. Wonderful and my kids gave me a gift so meaningful and touching!

There is backstory, so bear with me.

My beloved cousin, Edward Readiker-Henderson, died this past June. I’ve linked to the LJ entry, so I won’t repeat myself much. I love him like a brother. I miss and mourn him. My life is diminished by his death.

He made me his literary executor. One of my first projects was to make sure one of my favorite books Under the Protection of the Cow Demon, was revised and available for purchase again. He’d found some typos and yanked it from distribution. Walkabout Publishing was great about putting out a corrected revision. They were really kind to me esp as I was stranger prone to crying.

It was a lot of fun giving the book as a gift this Christmas. I think its wonderful, funny and full of unexpected things.

Christmas morning Tom hands me a package. At first, squeezing the edges, I thought it was a photo album, which would have been great as I don’t have very many current pix of the kids. Opening the gift I found this:



For the record: A leather-bound custom version of the book. It has the Route of Seeing logo my cousin used for his website. Most important, it has an audio version read to me by Tom and our kids.

My husband, daughter and son took my labor of love; custom bound it and read it out loud to me. To finish it off, they included Edward’s Ted talk at the end of the book. It’s the most perfect thing ever.

Tom and I listened to it on the drive back to Georgia. It made me cry a little. I thought about how much I will always miss Ed. I thought about how much I am loved.

I decided that I had every reason to miss the extraordinarily happy time when we all lived in the same state and saw each other every day.

AND I will never ever again razz Tom about the marriage enhancing Christmas he gave me the same sweater I gave my Mom.

Probably.
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