Preoccupied With the Same Old Things

Dearest Rachel –

I already wrote nearly a thousand words to you this morning, only to be forced to accept the fact that I could never post it as it was. It was the sort of dream that might be taken as a good omen had it been on New Year’s Day (although it contained none of the traditional elements of good fortune, such as Mount Fuji, a hawk or an eggplant. Don’t ask me the significance of any of those; I don’t make the rules), but on Christmas Eve, it just seemed wildly inappropriate.

It did bring up a few good questions, although most of them would be entirely hypothetical. For instance, while your departure means that, should I so wish it, I may approach (and, for purposes of this dream, be approached by) other girls unburdened by any thoughts that I might be cheating on you with them. However, if you’re still around, apparently unaware of your demise, and I can still interact with you, does it still count? Thoroughly disconnected from real life, I know, and the details seem most out of place for Christmas Eve. Honestly, if you were to haunt me, and show me the error of my ways, shouldn’t you wait until tonight?

Anyway, it’s the sort of thing I need to put out of my head, so I can get on with the day. Fortunately, there’s plenty to keep me busy; less so, that there’s not exactly time (or novelty – the problem with the traditional activities associated with the holidays is that they’re just that; too similar from year to year to make them worth writing to you about. Even the soufflé I still need to work on after the church services are over is the same one we’ve been doing for years) to come up with something to write to you about.

Which is a bit of a pity; if ever there was a day on which I should be in touch with you, it’s during the holidays. It’s a time for family, after all, and who was closer to me than you? To not be talking with you on a day like this, of all days, seems just… wrong.

And yet… what is there to say that we haven’t talked about so many times before? The next six hours will be spent in the booth, switching camera angles and running slides, which you know as much about as you care to. You’re no longer dropping by to bring something to snack on and wish me luck (despite my constant requests of you to do so). After that, it’s off to the folks for those usual final preparations – the cooking I mentioned, but there’s always one (or a dozen) more present to wrap, or tag, or decorate a little bit more before it’s shredded in an instant.

Of course, for all my bemoaning the fact that I don’t have anything new to talk to you about, I suppose that’s part of the point of Christmas. Sure, we have all of our traditions we do every year, and there’s little point in rehashing the details to you every time. But the fact remains that the old, old story of Christmas doesn’t need to be changed. “Man can live forever more, because of Christmas Day,” as the carol goes; ‘forever’ meaning that it won’t change from year to year in the same way that life will often do. In fact, it’s a reassuring island of stability within the chaos of change that happens to us from day to day, every day. And one day, thank God, that stability will be all that we have, and will have it together. It may not be much to write about now, but it’s something to look forward to.

I’ve got to get back to work now, honey, so I’m gonna let you go for now. Keep an eye on me, and wish me luck. I’m going to need it.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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