I'm back. And still finding my voice, the voice of this blog.
The next experiment: less than 200 words, one small beauty or happiness each day.
Christmas 2015: Sonia and I did not send Christmas cards; we weren't living together. We went to my parents' house for Christmas Day brunch. It was just the four of us. There were many silences, my parents' and Sonia's. I carried the conversation, resentful that no one else seemed to be making much of an effort. We exchanged gifts awkwardly and ducked out quickly, avoiding the extended family gathering later that day. Sonia went to her own parents' dinner alone in the evening.
Christmas 2016: Sonia and I sent Christmas cards to my entire extended family, signed with both our names. Christmas morning, we popped into her friend's engagement party then drove 90 minutes to my aunt's house, where everyone was polite. Even the Evangelical relatives were kind and welcoming. My mother was still wound as tight as a spring, but I was at ease with Sonia by my side.
The effect of that -- the simple presence of her, the confidence and calm it carries -- is entirely new. I'm so grateful.