Think of it this way when you can. Close your eyes.
Think of the faces at the table.
Imagine them all smiling. This is your family.
Think about your aunts or uncles.
Think about the cousins.
Think about the hugs they give
when they walk in the door and how no one
else in the world could ever give a hug quite like them.
Think about the family dinners at holiday time.
The winter months . . .
Think about the way your loved ones smelled
when they came in from outside
and how their jackets still felt cold from the outside air.
Maybe you had a bedroom with piles of coats on the bed.
Maybe you linked tables together.
Maybe you had a kid’s table too.
Think about this.
Close your eyes and see the dishes
that pass around the table.
Think deeply and concentrate on all the faces.
None of the chairs are empty.
Everyone is there.
Think about the love here and hold this.
Hold this as tightly as possible.
There is no anger in this room.
There is no fighting.
There is only a memory of your loved ones
There is only your family, and you,
and it’s perfect.
Close your eyes
see the way the walls in your homes were decorated.
Or if dinners like this was usually at a relative’s home,
concentrate on the smells of the home.
Remember their kitchen and the wonder you had
thinking of what it might be like
to live there for a while.
Think about the food, the boats of gravy, the plates
Think about the sound of your family eating together.
Think about the table being cleared, the coffee being served,
and the cakes and the pies and the fruits and cookies.
Take a deep breath as if to inhale the essence of your memory.
Breathe in through your nose
so that you can smell the scenery.
Whenever I do this visualization process,
I always see me as the young one here.
I see this through my childhood eyes.
I look at my family that I remember with love
and I recall the faces
of those who I can only see (for now) in my memory
and it’s good.
God, I miss them.
I miss my family
I miss Uncle Alan
I miss Aunt Sondra
The Old Man
Grandma too, but I was very young when she left us
The list goes on, of course.
But the memory I have
is a memory of the dinner table at my Aunt Sondra’s house
back when she lived in Freeport
life might be temporary
but . . .
This is something that will live on with me forever.