Family Peace in a Peppermint Shake

 

Family Peace in a Peppermint Shake 

We can’t decide where to go

for dinner, again,

but with Krystal the looming threat

we need hope. 

We actually need a lot more than

hope, to be truthful. 

We need peace. 

The matriarch died in February

after a yearlong battle with 

brain cancer 

so the sons take their dad

for Tuesday night dinner 

every week. 

But their sister will not be there – 

the one who

who took control of decisions 

and didn’t understand they could not

quit their jobs to do all she did

and wanted comfort measures 

for a mother who wailed in pain 

every day in her corner chair 

the one who stopped our food offerings, more worried about diabetes in the midst of stage 4 

than the love in a bowl

the one who still refused Hospice 

long after it was 

so desperately needed 

and the stone cold silence began

then the fracture was out on display 

like a shattered crystal goblet

as family clusters stood in

different corners at visitation 

dishonoring all she stood for

making a mockery of her servant spirit 

and then came the uninvite 

persuaded by this sister 

from the wedding

of her son – a nephew these uncles 

had loved all his life

a final earthshaking door slam 

and deadbolt as 

Pat’s children – her family- 

were cut off, cut out, done 

and the legacy of a mother who’d

loved each of her children

seared into ashes 

are there tears in Heaven?

is there peace for a father 

whose heart is torn apart with

these choices 

that led to separate meals

even on holidays? 

Tonight, maybe –

maybe peace will be found 

in conversations, laughter, 

stories of fun family memories

around a table in a Chick-fil-A, 

in all the little smashed pieces of 

chocolate covered candy cane  

at the bottom 

of a peppermint shake

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