This column originally appeared on townhall.com on 11/30/2012.
There is something existential about sitting around the den during the holidays and watching home videos from when the children were young, dad was thin, and mom was trying to hold it all together amid the craziness.
In those moments, watching while sister holds hot chocolate, brother holds a glass of tea, and dad sips coffee, comments fly—like “look how dirty Tommy’s face was” and “Sally must have done her own hair that day” and “Mom still looks as young as she did then.”
Perhaps grandpa appears in the video for a second and silence falls over the room, for everyone remembers grandpa’s last Christmas with the family. And the disease that took him so quickly after that.