Not So Small Talk

“How were your holidays?”

I’ve heard the question many times in the past week now that people are returning to their normal routines. I want to give an honest answer without completely ruining the mood.

I generally respond, “We had some challenges but we had some nice times too.” Most people ask for more details.

I then explain that my wife’s mother passed away on Christmas Day but that we got to visit her in the final days. Depending on the situation, I may also explain that my mother-in-law was 90 years old and that my wife sang the Hallelujah Chorus to her mom within the hour of her death.

In other circumstances, I may be asked to explain why we had a rental car or why we were shopping for a used car. In that case, I explain about the deer that jumped in front of my wife’s car in Maryland and how the insurance company decided that the car was a total loss.

The people who ask are very gracious and supportive. As I’m describing all that happened, I think about two other difficult situations that cropped up in the past month but I stop myself from talking about those. They’ve heard enough for now.

 

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