This Thanksgiving was very different than last year. Last year it was just my parents, my aunt Stephanie and Uncle Jerry, and me for Thanksgiving. This year, my mom is now on hospice and is pretty much bedridden since her MSA has progressed so rapidly, and my Uncle Jerry died. This year, we had almost 20 people. I think the family really wanted to be together.
Usually my mom is running the show for every major holiday, but she is so far progressed that there is very little she can do. Last year, she made it to the dining room and she could still talk well and eat well so she could organize Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year, she is extremely difficult to understand and rarely leaves the bedroom. Since my older sister was spending Thanksgiving with her husband's family, it was put on me to organize Thanksgiving.
I told everyone what they needed to bring and I kept the timeline of when everything needed to be heated, carved up, served, and cleaned. I found it strange to be the one in charge.
I don't know if anyone else feels this way but rationally, I know I'm an adult. I'm 37 years old, run and own my own home, and I took care of my dying husband. Taking care of Jeff and dealing with his death definitely made me feel like an adult. But there is something about being in charge of a major holiday for my entire extended family that made me feel even more like an adult. I don't quite know how to explain it. I'm an adult but my parents, aunts, and uncles have always been the real adults.
I wasn't really looking to step into my mom's role as the go-to holiday organizer but since my older sister was not going to be there, it just kind of fell on me. Once we were all in the same room for Thanksgiving, I essentially organized Christmas as well and sent out the reminders to family of where, what time, and what they will be bringing, as well as writing it all down on a piece of paper for my dad to refer to in case people fell back on calling my mom for their food assignments.
I feel like the family needs someone to step up and take on the organizer role now that their eldest brother has died and their eldest sister is on hospice. But I feel like it is a major responsibility and it makes me sad that someone else has to step into the roll unwillingly since people are dying. I feel like I may not be the one who should be doing it, since my mom has three other siblings, and I'm not sure if I'm the most qualified for the position.
My sister expressed a fear that once my mom died the whole family would fall apart. Perhaps stepping into the roll of organizer will ensure that they family doesn't fall apart? I'm just not sure if I'm "adult" enough to be that person...