“I want a house with a crowded table And a place by the fire for everyone Let us take on the world while we’re young and able And bring us back together when the day is done…” – Lori Mckenna / Natalie Nicole Hemby / Brandi Carlile

Under The Sea, Under The Big Top, Board Games, White Trash Bash … party themes of the past. My annual Thanksgiving Eve costume party was cancelled this year. For the first time in … I don’t know haw many years there are no costumes, no obnoxious amounts of alcohol, no ridiculous amounts of fun and no memories being made.

This year this is no party. The memories have been flooding my feed for days, reminding me of family and friends and fun. The memories have reminded me of easier times, harder times and family times. Times I miss and will undoubtedly make me experience a new first. I thought I had crossed all the firsts off my list, but out of the blue, here comes another one.

I didn’t think it would bother me. I wouldn’t spend months having to think up a theme, I wouldn’t have to spend weeks planning the decorations, planning the food … but here I am missing the chaos. Back in the day, before everyone had kids the parties were insane and over the years they have calmed down, themes have been adjusted and events have been tamer. But they have still been so fun.

When I first moved for North Carolina I wanted to have the party, but was so scared about how it would turn out, if people would come, if people would have fun … if they would “get” it. They did. And they filled my home with laughter and love. And for that, I am so, so very grateful.

But now, after three years of NC parties, I feel like maybe I should have stopped them when I moved here, because a new first at three years sucks. I didn’t think it would, but it does.

I know the reason is valid. COVID. Social distancing. Rules. Regulations.

But its made me think about the parties we had when Duane was sick. He wanted those parties, wanted people to gather and have fun. He wanted to be surrounded by love and laughter. He wanted his last year(s) to be full of smiles and dumb shit. These parties provided that.

I think about all the families that are quarantining now, due to rules and mostly fear and I feel for them. This will be thousands of people’s last holiday season and they and their families deserve to spend the time together. They deserve the time, the love and memories they can make.

I understand that by staying 6 feet apart and wearing masks we are protecting the vulnerable. But what people don’t understand is that the isolation and loneliness does more harm. There are so many people that “know” this is their last holiday season, yet because of bullying and stupid rules they will spend this time alone and also more than likely die alone. And that my friends is not ok. (I went off on a tangent there – but if you know me – you’re used to it).

Love your people. Spend time with your people. Tomorrow is not promised for any of us.

– xoxo Victoria

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