The Last Supper…No, not that one!
The ambient lighting in the restaurant is warm and inviting as enticing aromas make sweet promises of the meal to come. The mood is high, yet – unexpectedly – the conversation turns cold. Somehow, there in that pleasant setting, the realization that our lives will probably never be the same takes hold.
The stress level reaches an all time high. Everyone senses the ominous clouds looming overhead. For each protagonist the clouds take on a different form, but the results are all the same. No one knows what the other is feeling. But how can they? How do you grasp someone else’s feelings, when you can’t identify your own?
What’s it like to be told that your office is being closed – your livelihood suddenly threatened? How do you cope when faced with the prospect of leaving behind the school, the home… the friends that you’ve known your entire life? Where do you find the glue to piece together everyone’s broken hopes and dreams when you know the’re all looking to you? How do you grieve when your sadness is confused?
Then it happens. It starts on one side of the table and works it’s way around to the other. Silent teardrops begin to fall.
I whisper to my son that it’s OK to cry. I reveal that I want to cry too, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet. I invite him to meet me later so we can have a good cry together. My efforts are rewarded with a faint smile. In another pathetic attempt to diffuse the situation, I announce that I could use a trip to the restroom and ask the girls if they would like to join me. They shake their heads and dab their eyes with their napkins. We stay put.
Again I struggle to improve the tone, this time by discussing the dance off that occurred the previous night on “So You Think You Can Dance”. It took some doing, but slowly the mood in the room changes and the clouds begin to lift. Shortly thereafter, my now composed daughters excuse themselves from the table and head for the restroom. At that moment, seeing them walk away together – chatting the whole way, it suddenly dawns on me: they have each other. And I’m so glad that they do.
PS: Tomorrow my mood will be better. Don’t let me scare you away!
(image from here)