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“That’s some witchy shit.”

I didn’t say that. One of Funk’s associates did. In reference to his description of my plans for Christmas.

This is the 3rd for-shit Christmas in a row. In 2019, my mother died. In 2020, the world imploded, as did its people. And 2021 wasn’t any better. So it was that I visited dead people again for the holiday.

This time, my mother’s parents. Grandparents I haven’t met.

I’d never heard of lineage healing until 3 years ago. But once my mother’s lines elevated, I felt compelled to visit their graves. One thing led to the other. First, it was just that I had to visit the gravesite. Then, I had to go on Christmas Eve—the most important holiday for these Italian immigrants. Next, I had to bake them my “famous” bread. Then, prepare an orecchiette, rapini and sausage dish, because, of course, you must bring your dead grandparents a native dish. Along with all that, I brought shells and stones I’d collected with them in mind. Sage to clear out decades of gravely things. One of my best tablecloths. My 1st book. A candle. And a copy of my dual citizen papers that I obtained from this side of my family.

As you can see, I got a little obsessive with it.

On the day of the visit, I shaved my legs, even though it’s wintertime. Washed my hair and did it up cute. Put make-up on. In essence, I felt as if I were auditioning to be loved. After finding their plot in the 108-acre graveyard, Funk and I set everything up just right and then sat down in our beach chairs to dine with them in 37-degree weather.

I don’t think my grandparents noticed the cold, but we sure did.

On the way back to DC, Funk went into professor mode. Told me that many cultures honored their ancestors at this time of the year. In fact, the ceremony I’d just carried out is an ancient custom dating back long before Christ was a baby. Basically, he was saying that what I’d just done was no biggie. And it definitely wasn’t original. Nor was it some witchy shit.

Here’s to you if you honor your elders, both living and dead. If you don’t hurt your eyes from rolling them as your husband lectures you into oblivion about History 101. Wishing you the Happiest of New Years! (Please God, may it be so. For all of us.)

The photo: The gravesite of my grandparents, Carlo and Emma Fucci. Born in Italy in 1875 and 1886, died in the Bronx in 1951 and 1955

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