...Passover Seder with my wonderful aunt, uncle, cousins, kids, partners that went late into the night with laughter and tears and joy, unending conversation, witty remarks, too much delicious food, jumping frogs, and everything that makes this Seder that I look forward to every year so special. I always think of my aunt and uncle as they were when I was a kid -- they were glamorous and beautiful, my aunt having a hairdo just like Marlo Thomas in That Girl, my uncle suave and handsome, easygoing and charming. My aunt always looked liked she stepped out of Vogue magazine, my uncle out of GQ, and I thought they were the most sophisticated jetsetters. They knew everyone, were kind to everyone, exchanged witty banter, laughed easily, charmed everyone they met. They are forever fixed in my mind as if they are in their 30s though now they're 87 and 90 (87 and 90?!?!) My aunt is Mom's younger by two years sister. Mom, the complete opposite of Aunt J. Mom the hippie, the one who forged her own road, the artist and bohemian, barefoot, long hair, jeans, wearing pants to synagogue when everyone else wore a dress, never donned a hat, wore very little makeup, a true flower child in her approach to love and humanity. Not that Aunt J doesn't share her humanistic qualities - she's just packaged differently, never a hair out of place, never an outfit that doesn't look like a million bucks. They love each other fiercely. Mom was her own person from the get-go and endlessly got on my grandmother's nerves because Mom didn't care about fashion or hairdos or the outward trappings of beauty (Mom is completely beautiful), and to my grandmother, looks were everything. To my mom, looks meant nothing. It was what's inside that counts. Aunt J, seeing the endless fighting and wanting no part of it, took the road of least resistance and made sure that she always looked like a million bucks to avoid the abuse heaped upon Mom by my grandmother. Aunt J still tells stories of the fights between Mom and my grandmother, which are heartbreaking and make me so angry. It's amazing to me that Mom turned out the way she did, considering how much she was tormented by my grandmother. Instead of becoming an abuser herself, she went the opposite way and loves people into submission. Aunt J is a wonder to me, as is Mom. I love these two women like you can't believe. Both have been and continue to be lifelong role models for me. I cherish these Seders for many reasons and they've taken on a different meaning as everyone has gotten older. Driving away from this one, my fabulous partner behind the wheel, I wiped many tears of joy and sorrow from my leaking eyes...will this be the last one with everyone here? Who knows what's around the corner....all we have is now, this moment, and the memories that fill us up and bring joy to our hearts. I'll savor this Seder like I do my cousin's incredible macaroons....delicious, decadent, fleeting, fabulous.
I hope whatever holiday you celebrated this spring, even if only celebrating that spring is here, has filled you up and brought joy to your heart and soul.
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