Monday, December 18, 2017
Seven More Sleeps
I am living my 61st Christmas. Of course I can't really remember the first few but I can remember most of them. My Mom and Dad always made Christmas a magical time. I remember it being about the little things;a box of Ganongs red wrap, tinsel and silver icicles placed just so one by one on the tree,Mom's small village set out on cotton batten on the mantelpiece, opening our stockings in Mom and Dad's bed,Mom's mincemeat and scotch cookies, eating breakfast bursting with excitement to get to the tree for the two or three gifts , a blow up Santa , new Barbie dolls, packing up and getting to my Aunt Lois and Uncle Bernie's for Christmas dinner. My childhood is full of wonderful Christmas memories and many of the traditions found their way into our home when Burton and I had our own family.This morning my heart is breaking for my Mom and Dad. I wish I could wrap my arms around my mother and quiet her turmoil. My Mom is locked up in a prison called Primary Progressive Aphasia.Each day it takes more and more from her. The main thing it has taken is her speech. My social,outgoing mother has lost her ability to speak.My dad never a chatty guy now has the burden of every conversation being one sided with no real indication of what his wife of 69 years is thinking. Her only outlet for the thoughts that must be constantly boiling inside her is a agitated type of pacing and obsessing. Dad is unsure how to react to this.My parents have spent many years away from us at Christmas, heading south in November. They have gone to Florida again this year . But last night as I heard the strain these days are on my father and hear only guttural sounds from my mother I want to take them both in my arms . I want to bring them to my decorated home and talk non stop about all the years they brought the wonder of the season to me. I want to thank them and take them year by year through the memories of my 61 Christmases. I want to make their suffering go away.I feel like the one in the middle holding on to the memories of Christmas for my parents, for my kids and for myself of course.My grandchildren are counting the sleeps. Oh how I wish I still had that wonder and innocence. Seven more sleeps and I will hold on to the wonder of twinkling lights, of grocery lists and family favorites, of treasured ornaments and decorations, of watching my kids creating their own memories in their own homes. I will carry all my people in my heart and accept the gift of that knowing that the love my parents gave me has prepared me for the blessings Christmas 2017 will bring.