“Dad, I tested positive for COVID.”

“What?”

“Dad, I cannot come Christmas Eve.”

In the tradition of my Italian culture, fish is eaten on Christmas Eve. This would be the first Christmas Eve my dad ever hosted without my mom.

He was proud when he told me he found the perfect dried cod. “It soaks for days to get all the salt out. It will be ready and perfect on Friday.”

I had perfected a chilled grey goose vodka and cranberry juice since testing positive. On our nightly video chat, perfected drink in hand, my father asked with a sincere and thoughtful tone, “What the hell am I going to do with all this fish?”