Holiday in Limbo by
(243 Stories)

Prompted By Pandemic Holidays

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It’s hard to believe but with the passing of the generations I’m now the family matriarch.

It’s not my great-uncle Sid leading Seder but my husband,  not my aunt Babs cooking Rosh Hashanah dinner but me,  not my dad carving the Thanksgiving turkey but my son.

But will he this year?  A 4-5 hour drive and several states away,  we’re not sure it’s worth the risk.   So we’re keeping an eye on the CDC and our state’s changing Covid regulations,  and maybe he’ll come for Hanukkah instead and we’ll have latkes with our turkey.

Happy holiday everyone and please stay safe!

RetroFlash / 100 Words

Dana Susan Lehrman


Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!

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Tags: Thanksgiving, Pandemic, Holidays


  1. Betsy Pfau says:

    Staying safe is the MOST important thing this year, Dana. I love your turkey decoration with the candles for tail feathers (I had wild turkeys in my back yard today…they are pesky things). I agree, it is hard to reconcile when we are the adults left standing, but here we are, mercifully. Let’s keep it that way.

    Have a safe, happy holiday to you and Danny.

  2. Marian says:

    Good decision, Dana. My mother is technically the matriarch, but at 92 she no longer does the cooking. I am next in line, but we split tasks up to make life easier. It’s a difficult year, but we all have sweet holiday thoughts.

  3. Suzy says:

    Great Retro-Flash, Dana, and I agree that it seems weird that we are the matriarchs now. I love the turkey menorah – it must be from 2013, the year that Thanksgiving and Chanukah coincided, and people were calling it Thanksgivukah. I remember that year we made cranberry applesauce for the latkes, and everyone used it for the turkey too.

  4. I remember the moment I realized I was now the matriarch, and it didn’t sit well. Despite my standing as the oldest female, well, standing in our family, I’m just not the type…not at all like my mom who was the prolific mother of five, a gatherer of family, and overall a very social person. So I passed the mantle on to my daughter who’s more like her grandmother. Mission accomplished.

    Happy holidays, Dee…sending you a BIG virtual hug!

  5. Do you know the poet Linda Pastan (Jewish, a Radcliffe grad, probably about 75 now)? I can’t find it at the moment, although it’s in a collection I own, but she wrote a wonderful poem about finding oneself faced with the reality of being the oldest generation. Very succinct and moving and accessible as I would say of all her works. Maybe another reader will step up with the name of that poem.
    Meanwhile, I admire that you were self-aware enough to not feel you had to take on the role of matriarch, and that you found a way to let others take that mantle. Thanks for the thought provoking words. Good holidays.

  6. Such a poignant experience after watching all our significant others fade, thinning the ranks, until we stand in the vanguard. I also appreciate the shared concern you described re loved ones and risks.

    Your first stanzas reminded me of this line from poet Robert Lowell: “As life runs on, the road grows strange with faces new – and near the end. The milestones into headstones change, Neath every one a friend.”

  7. Joe Lowry says:

    I too didn’t realize I would be the oldest in my extended family at 51. I guess it happens. Staying safe in 2020 is the most important thing, especially since we can see a change in the White House in 2021.

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