You’ve always looked forward to weekend dinners.
Of course, why wouldn’t you? It’s the most probable day of the week that we can meet up and enjoy a moment’s respite from all of our worries, all of the stress-inducing activities of the week past. It’s the only day of the week when there is even the smallest reassurance that we will, in fact, get to see and speak to each other for more than just the simple queries and requests for allowances and favors.
The weekend, for all its typical near obligatory demand for our presence at home, was the only time you ever got to see your eldest daughter, after all.
And so, when you willingly went down to cook, I was not more than a little surprised. You cooking was a wonder in itself; it would always be one of us, or the dinner that she brings home, that would assure that there was something to be eaten. Even now when all the maids have left, you never really did such domestic tasks unless we were blatantly starving. You always did let us fend for ourselves.
Except, of course, when it came to her.
She was your daughter, the golden child — the achiever among overachievers, the most diligent of the responsible, the most wise of the intelligent.
A message came, and the shift in your mood was immediately noticeable.
No matter how hard I tried, no matter how often, I still couldn’t ignore the way your voice cracked just the smallest bit when you announced that she wouldn’t be able to make it to dinner today after all.
Even when I didn’t dare look behind me, I could still hear your efforts to keep your cheeks dry, could hear the discreet but telltale sniffs as you tried to keep your nose from running.
It is during times like these that I feel that we are not enough.
That I am not enough.
“The bond that links you to your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.”