November 21st, 2346
Today is American Thanksgiving (our fourth one on board), though of course, thanks to time dilation, this ship is the only place in the universe right now where it is Thanksgiving. Our deceleration is bringing us slowly closer to the same time as Earth, but we’re still going far too fast to even attempt to synch our clocks with Sol’s.
We had an early dinner in Medical, prepared by myself and Sarah, with some help from Jean-Marie on the Roasted Sage Potatoes recipe that was Robert’s favorite as a kid. Well, OK, not really his favorite, but his favorite dish that we actually had the ingredients for (I’m amazed at how many French recipes call for heavy cream – even the vegetable recipes!). The meal was, of course, very vegetable-heavy, with our protein being tofu seasoned with chicken bouillon. I surprised even myself by whipping up a passable pumpkin pie from the one pumpkin I was able to get out of our garden. Just don’t ask me what I made the crust from!
I find it mildly amusing that this far away from Earth, and with time being the entirely subjective thing it is here, we would still have Thanksgiving dinner early in the day. We have no grandparents to pass out on the couch here, and there’s no American Football game we have to get to (and nobody here would even watch such a pansy game), so I’m not entirely sure why we keep the tradition, except for the fact that it’s tradition.
Speaking of tradition, Sarah once again insisted on leading us all in a prayer of thanks before we ate, which I always find a little uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong; you know I was raised Catholic, and yes, I suppose I do believe in God, but He and I have always had a “live and let live” relationship, and in any case I’ve always felt that prayer was a personal thing that really shouldn’t be aired in public. But just try telling that to the 4.5 billion Christians we left behind (or the 2.5 Christians we brought with us).
On this ship though, to even hint that someone else’s religion makes you uncomfortable is almost cause for inquisition. Not exactly diverse, the three of us are all Christians of one sort or another, so were I to even mention anything, I would just get looks from the others that said “what are you complaining about? You’re a Christian too”. So, like a dutiful crewmember, I close my eyes and hold hands while everyone makes a big deal over the non-random syllables we must utter before eating.
You know, I always figured (if you’ll forgive the religion tangent) that if God was really all-knowing and all-seeing, why would He need us to say anything out loud at all? Surely He must already know what I’m thinking and feeling. I mean, when you get to Heaven, do you think they just ask you if you’ve been good and let you in based on your word? Of course not. God knows the real you on the inside, and no amount of air forced across your larynx is going to change or mask that. Essentially, I’ve always believed if you’re a good person, you don’t really need to pray, and if you’re not a good person, no amount of praying is going to help you anyway. So this out-loud prayer thing was always a little mystifying to me, even as a child.
Not that it really matters. Me joining in isn’t going to hurt anything, but me excluding myself just might. The last thing I really need is to be ostracized because of my own [admittedly logical] stubbornness.
OK, I think that’s enough God talk for now.
The companions switched off over dinner, with each of them getting time at the table. You’d think I’d be used to it by now, but it’s still kind of weird to have a table set for four people, and one of the people changes every hour. It’s also a little weird to have to extend Thanksgiving dinner long enough for each of the three companions to join us. You learn to each a little bit at a time, taking some from here and some from there so that when Sarah leaves and Jean-Marie shows up, it appears like we’ve all sat down for dinner together.
Of course, that’s completely ignoring the fact that Robert still has to be fed everything. I’m sorry, but Thanksgiving dinner would just not be fun if I had to have it fed to me. Robert, to his credit, took it all in stride, as if that’s the way he’d always eaten dinner (secretly, I think he rather enjoys being fed and otherwise waited on hand-and-foot). I’m just glad I’m not the one who had to do it.
Other than that, everything’s been pretty normal lately. Been spending my evening down time with Theresa in the lander, and of course my days are mostly taken up attending to Robert’s rehabilitation. Robert’s been studying navigational data for the last couple weeks in the hope that he’ll discover what may have happened to us (and what happened to Sol). So far, no luck, but I can tell he’s completely uninterested in giving up (or really anything else aside from Jean-Marie).
I still miss you a lot and think about you every day, but I guess the old saying about the healing powers of time is somewhat true; it seems I feel less heartbroken and anguished by your absence than before, and I didn’t even have to stop writing to you to feel this way (so there, Theresa!). That said, I do wish you were here with me right now. My life could use a little enriching right about now.