Today is the 25th day of December. That means it's my Mom's birthday, the first birthday we are celebrating without her. It is unbelievably hard to do that. I made cookies this morning, cookies that she liked to make for the Christmas carolers who came over here every year to practice before we went out serenading the town. Cranberry-pecan-white-chocolate-chip oatmeal cookies. This year there were no carolers and no Mom, but at least there could be cookies.
Yesterday, in honor of birthday eve, Dad and I cleaned out the garage. It wasn't much of a party, but it felt good to be doing something productive. Then my sister came out from Brooklyn, and we all had dinner and talked about how hard it is to do anything at all. Tonight the three of us and all five of our Paraguayan-Italian friends will have birthday dinner and remember her. This may be the first time the whole families have been together since I graduated from high school. And it won't ever be all nine of us again.