Friday, December 28, 2007

Til There's No One Left....

“Til there’s no one left who has ever known us apart.” This one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite musicals, even though I am really not sure what it means. The song is called, “Last Ten Minutes”, the show is “Last Five Years”. There’s lot’s of lasts there. The show is beautiful, and soulful and funny and pretty depressing because it’s about the failure of a relationship. The characters, and there are only two, are never at the same emotional place at the same time. When it begins the female character starts out not very interested in the male character and by the end she loves him desperately, but he who starts out loving her, by the end has moved on. Somewhere contained within the musical book reality hits, and things change. So throughout the show the characters are moving in a different direction and this song (in the middle of the show) marks the only time when they are both in sync. I am weeping as I write.

The Tree at 30 Rock...
It is unclear why I thought about this, but speaking of weeping, the mothers were missing at Christmas brunch. The moment I realized that we were without adult supervision was exceptionally sad. My mom is in Seattle. Aunt Claire was too busy dealing with other family issues. And Agnes passed away a few months ago. For the last ten or so years we have always gathered at Joyce’s for our Christmas day celebration. Joyce and Pam and I have been friends for over 40 years but our mother’s never connected until we were all in our 50’s.

Joyce, Ronnie, and grandson Darren
This brunch had become a tradition which we all thoroughly enjoyed.

Jaime and son Max
We still had a wonderful time and while it was incredibly sweet it marked a passage. We are now the grown-ups. Who ever would have believed it.

Iris and Ronnie, King of the Santa Hat collection (and, yes, two of the 'grown ups')

It was a pretty much stress free couple of days which started with our Hannukah party for the kids (mostly for Jack Marash who loves latkes) and a few of our New York friends.

(We also had a Hannukah party preceeding Hannukah in the same spirit, in Virginia.)

A Belated New York Hannukah
Yes these parties had nothing to do with the date, but we celebrated the miracle of the lights rather than just the day. (David's quote; “of the millions of Jewish homes, all over the world, tonight – we are the ONLY one celebrating Hannukah...”) The Washington party is usually a karaoke party – I provide the musical instruments. For the New York party I bought musical Christmas poppers thereby providing our guests with different sized whistles. Inside the popper case were whistle sheets of music. Jordan led the band of whistlers and they all played some out of tune, but incredibly entertaining tunes – this may have to become a tradition.

Grand Central: How can you not love a New Yorkers respect for signs?
Of course we went to Pam’s for Christmas Eve and for whatever reason, we all drank too much and laughed too long... so by ten we were looped and exhausted and had to go home. It was a much smaller gathering this year which made it all the more intimate and less frenzied. Nice... very nice.

The light show (sort of) at Grand Central
We went back to NY in the afternoon on Christmas day, and although we thought (like millions of Americans) we might take in a movie, we opted to go to Grand Central for the light show and to Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas tree.

With Dane at the Tree
The highlight of the evening was when Jordan’s friend Dane (a talented performing artist) decided to (like Judy Garland and Andy Rooney-- oops I mean Mickey Rooney) 'do a show. ' So in the midst of the madness of the crowd, he got down on one knee and asked Jordan for her hand—she gave it to him – It had nothing to do with marriage, it was just her hand, but the millions of tourists privy to the show were excited beyond words. We went out for a French Christmas dinner and completed the evening with a walk through Manhattan. Lovely... On the 26th we flew to Seattle to visit with Mom.

Jordan gets a hug from her Nana
The words of that song are still ringing in my head. But it has nothing to do with romance. It has to do with passages and moments. “Til there’s no one left...” The moment at Joyce's was one that brought me to tears, but there were so many that made me laugh. Our families have had losses and growth over the last year. It hasn’t been easy. Joyce has another grandson and we have our first. Joyce’s mom is gone but Susan, her daughter-in-law, is having another baby. Christian and Carly are still together while Jordan has replaced her old boyfriend with a few new ones. My mom is not where or what she was but if these terrible things had not happened to her I would never have found my brother. I used to describe him as “Jeffrey my brother who I never spoke to until he was eighteen, and then we had nothing to say.” But this is, thankfully, no longer the case. We have found that we really like each other.

Things keep changing. I like the way things were but I am beginning to get comfortable with the way things are going to be, at least for a while. Til there’s no one left...

En route Sea-Tac Airport in the 22' limo..

We’re just sayin Iris


Anonymous said...

Well Iris, as usual, you have touched my heart beyond words. It is the time of year when my emotional thermometer goes thru the roof and reading your blog has broken this year's record. Amazing how that happens as we get older. Somehow, things haven't changed that much... it's just that we have. Wishing all of you a loving New Year with many things to celebrate. Huge hugs -A

Anonymous said...

Greetings from New Jersey!