So I arrived at the assisted living home at 6:50 and of course I was the first one there. I went straight to my grandmother's room and visited with her until my brother and his family arrived. As it turned out, since the residents had already been fed , the facility allowed us to use their dining room. So we wheeled my grandmother down to the dining room and the entire family was able to get together. My mom and aunts had even brought along some cakes and things so we were at least able to sit down together as a group. Much better than thanksgiving.
In one of those touching and all too human moments, a very frail looking old woman came into the room on her walker. She went quietly to the end of the table and sat down. I've no idea who she was. Given the age and mental condition of many of the residents she might have though we were actually her family. Perhaps she was just lonely. One of my cousins asked her if she would like some cake and she nodded, so my cousin gave her some cake and a glass of Sprite and she sat there the entire time while my family exchanged gifts and laughed and carried on. Eventually another lady came in, this one in a wheel chair and she joined us too. I talked to her for a bit and we admired the Christmas tree. She had some cake. Unlike the first lady, this one seemed to know we were related to one of her fellow residents. After a while she wheeled herself away, but she turned to me as she left and said, "You have a nice family."
She's right. I forget that sometimes. Merry Christmas.