As a kid…Christmas was a big deal. I remember flocking the tree with fake snow, wrapping the tree with tinsel, and though we were poor, trying to have the best Christmas possible. I saved what little money I got through the year, and took great pleasure in wrapping presents for my Mom, Dad, and Grandma. Grandma died of cancer.
Years later, Dad died of cancer…but Mom kept going. I always viewed Mom as a super person….she was self taught, but no one who met her would guess she had less than a PhD. I remember one Christmas, bugging my Mom to death…I wanted a certain present and was afraid I wouldnt get it. My parents never told me there was a Santa Claus…just that they were my Santa Claus. She finally gave in, pulled the car over, opened the trunk and said “Ok, there’s your present, open it”. I tore the paper off, and indeed, it was the present I wanted…but it ruined my Christmas that year…all the anticipation was gone, I had, through impatience, killed my own Christmas. I never did THAT again, ever.
I remember when Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimers…she seemed fairly fine to me, and I had no inkling of what would be her fate.
I remember the last Christmas. I took care of her long as I could until physically and emotionally, I couldn’t do it anymore. People who knew the situation said they never saw anyone who worked as hard taking care of a parent as me., they kept telling me I needed to have her in nursing home, but I waited as long as I could…all humans are fragile creations, and at some point, I decided she was not getting the best care from me, and that it was time to put her in a nursing home.
It was a good one…good caring staff and Administrators, who took very good care of Mom. The last Christmas I had with Mom, my wife and I had bought her pretty things like pajamas, blankets, everything we could think of. I wrapped them up with ribbons,bows,paper, and a healthy dose of love with each wrapping.
We took her to an office, and I had a big sack of presents. She didn’t know it was Christmas. I would hand her a present, and even though they were wrapped for easy open, she said she couldnt open them and handed it to me or my wife to open. Her eyes lit up, and she smiled, and thanked us as each present was opened. It was a far cry from our previous Christmases at her home, with a large tree, and Christmas lights twinkling inside and outside, and the floor covered in presents.
The event was bittersweet. I was glad that she was there to give the presents to, but sad to see how the disease of Alzheimer’s had ravaged her body and mind.
I didn’t know, didn’t dream this would be our last Christmas. I videoed it, and I CAN watch the videos, but, I don’t know if I can watch them without crying.
That’s why you see me stressing to treat every holiday, every day with loved ones, humans AND your pets, as if that day was the last you would have them with you.
For my wife, my son and his family, and my cousin (the one left after my other cousin was murdered a while back) I want to have the “Christmas Spirit”…but my wife has known me for decades now, and she knows how I feel.
So, if your pets / furbabies, your family is alive, and you are on good terms, and they and you, have good health, then your holiday is almost made right there. The lights, tree, music, presents…they are the trappings of Christmas. The real spirit of Christmas is found in the smile, the eyes, the hearts of those you love, and who love you…and in that regard, you can have Christmas 365 days a year.
Be grateful…there is nothing wrong with buying presents, getting presents…but without your loved ones..it is a hollow holiday, with sparkles, bright lights, people rushing around, but at its heart, it
can be a sad time, a time for remembering the past, when it meant something.
So, from my, my wife, my cats,whether you celebrate Christmas or not, may the balance of this month be healthy, happy, prosperous, and joyous.
Namaste and much Luv
Thanks for reading this.
`Anon99, my Wife, and our furbabies ❤