19 November 2007

day 19 :: family

We had a little quasi-Thanksgiving yesterday. My mom baked a turkey and potatoes and made that hideous sweet potato dish with the marshmallows on top (some people love this stuff; I cannot understand why – sweet, mushy, and orange? And supposedly a vegetable? All wrong.). She cut up salad fixings. I made gingerbread cupcakes, because Friday was my Oma’s birthday, and a sour cream coffeecake, for my little unborn niece or nephew via my sister-in-law’s mouth, and stuffing from a box.

It was unexpectedly sweet to sit around a table with these people I love, stuffing our faces too full of too much food. I was too full when we finished, but I still managed a gingerbread cupcake and a little piece of coffeecake. And then I couldn’t eat again all day, although I had to force down some Cheerios in order to take the Biltricide that’s (hopefully) killing off my schistosomiasis.

I remember, when I went to Rwanda, thinking that it wasn’t that hard to be away from family. You just do it. Except that it’s gotten harder.

I might be getting old.

In my parents’ neighborhood, there are a few splatters of pumpkin intestines on the road, perhaps left over from Halloween.

When I was very small, approximately three years old, just before my brother was born, we lived in a little house on a small hill in a city about 40 miles north of here. We carved pumpkins for Halloween, but some older boys came and smashed them onto the road. For a long time, I didn’t want to walk past the dead pumpkins on the road.

A month later, on the night my brother was born, I remember the feeling of horror to be walking past the scene of the pumpkin murders, walking through the dark to our neighbors’ house so my dad could drive my mom to the hospital.

The dad of that neighbor family was one of my professors in college.

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