Trisha, John and Zoey arrived first with a bunch of food [non pizza] and lots of hugging and conversation. Zoey and Trisha saw all the "stuff" set out to decorate and things swung into motion: Zoey went to play with the village people (and all her toys that she brought to Grandma Pat's house scattered across the rug...) And Trisha declared "don't talk to me until I get something to eat!!" John left to get the pizza's from Pappa Johns - special order - veggie pizza, peppers and pepperoni one, and then a little cheese one. In a little while, Keith, Tracy, and Delia popped in with the last minute decorations I ordered from JO ANNE's and the kitchen brigade decided to set out nibbling food and await John's return.
When the pizza arrived, the girls sat down and began to eat and talk and eat and talk. John offered to bring me a plate (I was in the living room dragging out decorations) but I said I'd come in and eat at the table.
I was not even aware of being hungry. I was barely aware that I was sitting at a table with only 5 chairs and the boys were walking around eating pizza from their hands... And we chatted away about stuff. and then Zoey ask, "Where's Grandpa Stan?" She was looking up and to the right to remember his name. But she remembered.
And we stopped. And we were unprepared / hesitant/ afraid to answer her. He's not here. He's in the basement (true). And we never did tell her anything else.
Our family gatherings are infrequent and hurried; maybe if we can remember to be aware of why we come together, we will have a better answer if she ever asks again.