This has been the oddest December in my memory. The Man and I have spent 99% of our time (since Thanksgiving) here at my mom and dad’s, helping take care of Daddy since his fall (you can scroll on down and see the backstory, if interested). We put up Mother's little Christmas tree, and The Man got a few of Daddy's Christmas lights shining bright.
It’s not that my parents really need us, physically. We do help, of course, but my mom can roll Daddy to where he needs to go, and Daddy is able to roll himself somewhat, although on carpeted floors it is a challenge.
The main reason we’re here has more to do with emotional support, and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. They tell us over and over how thankful they are for the gift of ourselves. We tell them how blessed we are to be able to spend this time together.
The days take on a slower rhythm here. Daddy doesn’t have a television, doesn’t listen to the radio, outside of the news, doesn’t have Internet, doesn’t care much for listening to music more than a few minutes at a time (which is surprising, being he is a wonderful singer and musician and has recorded four or five albums in his lifetime). He reads the newspaper and his Bible, and whatever magazines come in the mail.
When he is not being wheeled to take care of life’s necessities, or to the table for a meal, he is confined to one chair in the house (it accommodates his injury the best). His days are long and monotonous. My heart breaks for his immobility; it’s just not him to be still.
Mother and I (and The Man) work on the daily crossword puzzle from the newspaper. Some days, it takes all three of us (and a little help from Google, thanks to my smart phone) to get ‘er done.
In the evenings, we gather around the table for a game or two of Dominoes (the only game my dad enjoys playing), and cups of hot chocolate or coffee, or both.
The Man and I seldom leave the house together; we tend to go out one at a time. But yesterday, we made sure things were well before heading into the city for a little outing that included a bit of shopping, talking, and eating.
The Man isn’t exceptionally keen on hats, but he liked this one and wanted to buy it for me (and two others). Merry Christmas to me! He even took my picture with my smart phone’s camera. (He’s getting way too techy, I tell you.)
This post has already reached the too-long stage, but there you have a look at what’s been happening behind the scenes. Events such as this remind us of what is important in life. It's also made me all the more appreciative of the wonderful man I call my husband.
While I miss being home, miss my little routine, miss puttering around the house and the yard and hanging out on my side of town, miss being able to visit my friends in blogland, miss my daughter, my church family, my sisters, my nieces, and my sugar plum (sometimes their absence brings an ache that lingers for a long time), I realize how rich these moments with Mom and Dad really are. Sometimes I watch them when they’re not looking, and the love I feel in my heart threatens to spill over in a downpour of tears.
Lord willing, we will see the faces of other family members, come Christmas Day, and there will be lots of food and fun and laughter. Their presence will be our gifts this year. The way I see it, who could ask for more?
Until next time, sweet friends, I hope your Christmas season has been filled with the people you love.