Cleo's Patra

It is 4 days to Christmas. The kids, with the exception of the pink dough blob, are getting excited as hell and almost behaving themselves. Mondo cooking and baking going on - it seems Italy called and is coming for a visit, judging by the masses of food being prepared.

I see all this via video chat, probably the most awesome invention ever made. I am a couple thousand miles from home right now. Not likely to be home for the big day, either. Story of my life. Kids grow up while you don’t notice or are away at work. Blink once and your cute toddler is moving in with her boyfriend.

As I get older I resent this more. How the hell do other people get to stay home, look after their kids and have all the little joys and tragedies while I don’t. Ain’t exactly fair, is it.

Way back in 1962, Grandad told me. “Life isn’t fair, but it is better than the alternative.” We carved that on his headstone three years back. By then he had become a stranger, though not by choice. He was over a hundred and the only person he more or less recognized was my cousin since he saw her every single day. She asked us not to visit any more, since it just made him upset. He’d sit in the garden and ask the apple tree why he could not remember. It was heart breaking. This man, a soldier and crane driver, would talk for hours about philosophy and what it meant to be human. He was funny, smart, sarcastic as hell.

I once asked him about the war, probably in the mid 70’s. He looked straight at me and said, “Someone had to go.” He’d be upset with me whining.