Advent Day 7
Spock went looking for Jim in the early evening on the first night of Hanukkah. They were visiting Spock’s parents on Vulcan during the time Hanukkah started and though Sarek did not care at all, Spock’s mother had been raised Jewish and enjoyed participating in many of the traditional celebrations.
That morning she had cheerfully served them all sufganiyot. On the menu tonight was potato latkes.
Jim had given to sitting outside in the evenings, the view of the city being one he was particularly fond of. He would sit outside sipping coffee and mulling over the fate of the Universe. Or so he would jest with Spock.
“Jim, Mother is preparing to light the Shamash candle to begin the first night of Hanukkah,” Spock said as he found his husband sitting next to the wall that surrounded Sarek’s house.
Jim smiled. “Great. I meant to go in before. I got lost in thought. Help me up?”
Spock reached down and pulled Jim up from the chair. He had a feeling Jim was bored with their visit, but he never said so.
“Do I need to change?”
They returned to the house where Mother waited. There was no sign of Sarek, which Jim commented on.
“Sarek doesn’t come for the lighting?”
Mother smiled and shrugged. “Sometimes yes, sometimes no. At present he is in conference and we cannot wait.”
They gathered near the Menorah. Mother lit the candle in the middle, the Shamash candle.
“Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha’olam, asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu l’hadlik ner shel Hanukkah.” Mother spoke the first blessing.
“Amen,” Jim and Spock murmured.
“Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha’olam, she’asah nisim l’avoteinu, b’yamim haheim bazman hazeh.”
Spock’s mother smiled at them.
“And now, since it is the first night, we say the Shehecheyanu.”
“Blessed are You, O Lord Our God, Ruler of the Universe, Who has kept us alive, sustained us and brought us to this season”, Mother said in standard this time.
“Amen,” they replied.
She used the Shamash candle to light the first candle on the left. She then picked up the Menorah and brought it to sit in a window to the left of the main door.
“There! Thank you, boys, for indulging me.”
“We are hardly boys, Mother.”
She laughed. “To me you are. Let’s have some wine. Well, you and me, Jim. Spock can have some if he wants.”
Spock inclined his head. “A small amount would be fine.”
She poured them all small glasses of red wine and they sat in the room overlooking the Menorah.
“Many Vulcans over the year have asked Sarek why he allows me to continue with these traditions,” she said, taking a sip.
Jim raised his brows. “And? What does he say?”
She smirked. “I do not allow her anything. She is free to make her own choices.”
Jim saluted with his wine glass. “Wise.”
“It reminds me of home, of my family. For years, when they were alive, we could participate in it together, over conferences, videos, that kind of thing. Once when I was quite young and Spock had been recently born, we were even on Earth at the time, and we spent that time with them in person.”
“I did not know that,” Spock replied. “I do not remember.”
“It was a lovely time. And you were a Kanbu.”
“Now,” she said wistfully. “Most are gone and I do it to remember them. I’ll be following them soon enough.”
“No one lives forever, Spock. Not even me. I am not saying I will pass tomorrow, but each Hanukkah might be my last.” She shook her head. “I don’t pretend to think you’ll carry on the traditions when I do, but it’s nice to be able to share it with you now, while we are both here.”
Jim reached over and squeezed Spock’s hand. He knew Jim was thinking of already having lost Spock once. And Spock did not look forward to the day he would face without Jim. Without them all, likely.
But for now—
“How about a toast?” Jim said, speaking up cheerfully. “To being together, to family, friends, to traditions. Happy Hanukkah.”
Mother smiled. “Happy Hanukkah.”
And they all took their sips. The potato latkes were particularly good that night.