We had occasion to go to my Mother-in-Law’s for dinner on a recent Sunday. The air outside has begun to get nippier. And we hustled onto the enclosed porch catching sight of Grammy at the sink in her Orioles t-shirt.

As she opened the kitchen door, she greeted the littlest one first as we all moved into the kitchen. The smell of her cooking hit me. A familiar mix of older people’s house and the simmering dinner. But then my brain pushed this aside for the sound of the whistles on the TV. Football season. And I anticipated the sad and glad memories of this family and families everywhere gathering for their upcoming Thanksgiving feasts and holiday celebrations. Everyone looking forward to the possibility of being together. That isn’t a given anymore. The sentimentality of holidays and the upset that arises around unresolved differences, is still a testament to the bonds of family. And the tenuousness of their time together.

Football Sundays spent with in-laws. Supper interrupting. A special desert and the celebration of someone’s birthday. Watching children get to know their aunts and uncles. And imagining the future when my children will come home from their lives abroad in the world. Me cooking feast food in the kitchen. And perhaps I’ll make sure the football game is on and the whistles are blowing just for the background music. To feel complete.

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