Today, I am going to spend in the bosom of my family. I am not looking forward to it, as maybe I ought to. I can't find my air filter. I normally keep it in my purse, but it hasn't been there for weeks. It's a personal air filter that I wear around my neck and it blows ionized air up which allegedly cleans the air below my nose before I breath it. It doesn't help a great deal, but it's better than nothing at all. In conjunction with a veil covering my face and draping over the filter, it works very well indeed- but it is very difficult to take the veil in our culture. I have the panache to carry it off though when I need it, and nowadays it's considered rude to even ask. I wear the veil in whatever way works best for the situation, but it's damn disconcerting for other people who haven't seen me do it before, and muslims have approached me to ask why I wear it *wrong*. It's a crutch though, and I can admit that.
My mom is one of three kids, sort of. I have Uncle Bob, who is her younger brother. I was disturbed the first time I heard someone say "and Bob's your uncle." I reacted with how the heck did you know? My Aunt June is Mom's half sister. My grandfather's first wife did not die in childbirth, but very soon after. Walt then met and married Hilda soon after, and Mom was born 11 months after June was. June did the math. June did not like Gram a whole lot, but Gram raised her and thought of her as her own. So when Gram made her will, she divided it all equally amongst her three hids. The problem is June predeceased her. She died of liver cancer, not terribly long ago- I had to travel with Mom to visit her, and she looked nothing in her last days as I remembered her in my youth. I liked her more in those short visits before her death. I disliked her unreasonably as a child. I found her a frightening woman then, a meek and gentle woman later. She had five children. I don't remember the older boys at all, but my sister does. Cynthia was my age, or near it. At our last meeting, she was brash and I didn't like her as well. She reminded me too much of her mother then. And Stephen was the youngest, who we called Bubba for our last meeting. He was nearer my brother's age, younger than I am. June cut him out of her will, and refused to speak his name.
Today, the four oldest will visit my mom, Cynthia among them. We will talk of Gram, whom I still miss, and of June, and Stephen will be the elephant in the middle of the room that nobody wishes to discuss, and I won't know why. We will share pictures. They will all bring their offspring. My brother will bring his offspring. I'll get meet Arianna, his newest child, for the first time.
And I'll come home with a nagging headache, not enough sleep, and possibly all the symptoms of a cold, like I always do. I have a very real feeling that I'd rather spend the day curled up on the couch in my flannel blanket, several cats, a couple good book, and a large mug of hot chocolate (floating Peep optional). I will instead paint on the happy face, pretend I am having a good time, and moments of the day will surprise me with pleasantness.