I leaned against the doorframe and surveyed the dim kitchen. Spotless countertops. Pans tucked into cupboards. Unused wooden spoons, spatulas and ladles poised in the pitcher by the stove. A stack of stained potholders and oven mitts sat untouched in the drawer. Pizza boxes and paper plates were heaped in the trashcan, remnants of supper the night before.
Our family had eaten Thanksgiving dinner at my brother- and sister-in-law’s house earlier that afternoon. We didn’t speak of it much, but all of us were keenly aware of my mother-in-law’s glaring absence. She had died in September. This was our first Thanksgiving without her.