Not quite normal

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Not quite normal

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Last week we went to an old favorite restaurant. It’s actually an olive mill outside of Phoenix. My mother loves it and we developed a habit of having family events there since it is close to grandma’s apartment. But grandma is gone.

My mom and I drove nearly an hour and met my sister and her kids, my aunt and her family, and my cousin and her partner. My other uncle canceled at the last minute with no explanation. Maybe he had the right idea.

It was a little too hot out, even though we got there early and found a table in the shade. It was too crowded to browse the shop and some of the employees displayed a weird attitude towards masks. The food wasn’t as good as we remembered.

A few days later my sister brought up that she was disappointed by the trip, especially considering we were there to celebrate her birthday. Mom got defensive and talked about how much grandma had loved it. I pointed out that grandma would have been the first to complain the heat and lack of service.

I wonder how much we’ve built up these places we haven’t been able to go to for a year and if they will all be disappointing as we resume normal life. I wonder how many of those disappointments will be because grandma is gone. I wonder if my extended family will drift into our separate lives and only see each other at Christmas, without grandma to hold us together. She passed in February but it feels like she’s been gone longer since COVID kept us apart for so long.

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This item was submitted on April 15, 2021 by [anonymous user] using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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