I didn't miss Ruth while I was actually eating Thanksgiving dinner. Sitting at my sister's table, dishing up the little guys' plates, laughing at the stories, taking just a bit more of my brother-in-law's (very successful) experimental turkey, I didn't think about Ruth's not being there. But in the cracks of the day, between peeling potatoes, as I helped Eleanor change into clean clothes, getting the pies out for dessert, putting the last dishes into the dishwasher, in those moments I ached for her.
We had thought about flying her to Atlanta, even searched for flights. But she would have had to miss class. It would have been expensive. And she's going to be home for Christmas in three weeks.
Of course, Sam wasn't there either, but it's different with him. We knew when he left on his mission that we wouldn't have him for any holidays for two years, and he's in England, anyway, where Thursday was just a normal workday.
But as I lay in bed Thanksgiving night, I felt like crying for Ruth. My first Thanksgiving without her in nineteen years. Without realizing it, I had done the irreversible. She had Thanksgiving with people I don't know. She really has become an adult, and I don't think I was ready for it.