Our family had a very, very challenged couple of weeks as we awaited Santa. It feels like Jesus came tumbling by way of a King’s Island roller coaster this year.
On my side of the family – no hitches: all three major trans USA move transitions went fine. All systems, go, go go! (Doing the thankful daughter/sister/mom dance in my mind because when I try to do even a mini office chair samba my brain sort of explodes and my hip dislocates a bit).
Why even try to samba? Because my people are happy and that’s the goal:
1. My brother is in proud dad heaven as my niece grabbed the golden ring of what she wants to do with her life, 2. My cousin who survived hurricane Irene on Long Isle and I still love each other more than anyone, 3. My aunt and uncle’s children seem to be doing especially well this year, and,
4. My father?! Holy smokes. When I talked to him on Christmas day he sounded happier than he has, honestly,
since well before my mother died of colon cancer eight years ago.
What favorite daughter of the best dad in the world isn’t trying to reach THAT brass ring? Eh?
With a little bit of help from my brother and I, his perfectly laid out plan to organize, sell his home and move permanently to Florida is, as he would say: “Finito!” Done.
It worked! The rewards of his hard work to grieve and retire at the same time seem to be that his new neighbor Rose loves him (he killed and threw away the scary dead snake in the road), my cousins went from enjoying to adoring his company (he reminds them of our grandfather), and even dad’s doctors love him it seems. (Aka: He is being compliant to their plans and in return his kidney disease issues are at a standstill for now).
In addition, though his favorite new walking park let him down mightily by closing off a path so they could chase away alligators by draining a pond, his life seems to be moving at his perfecto pace at last. Hell. After two years of weekly poker losses, he says that he’s now even winning some card hands now.
If you’ve ever met my dad even once for ten minutes, you’d agree that his life is now wonderful indeed.
Boo, and YA world! High fives all around the globe.
I imagine that you, whoever you are: stranger or not, I imagine that you are staring at your PhoneComputerTouch screen and thinking, “and this made your 2012 Christmas a disaster because…?”
…there’s more of course.
On my adoring Sleigh Driver’s side of the family, elder care issues
have come home to roost in epic proportion.
If your Christmas celebrations have you feeling like this:
(click the word BESTBEST if you have 5 minutes to watch and hear a righteous cool Handel’s Messiah rendition.Thank you SO much @JamesMartinSJ and @suzzyroche – that tweet share last night has me confused about whether or not this is the best or worst Christmas season I’ve celebrated in my 45 years.)
Or, if you feel a bit guilty that you didn’t have a crappy or complicated holiday season, just google
sudden onset of dementia
and your heart will break just enough to empathize with my favorite husband.
He has a very, very large German family in a lovely rural Appalachian corner of Ohio. We have all helped take care of his grandmother for a couple of years now as she has had some health issues. Despite those efforts, she has suddenly become what I can only describe as a five foot GermanHandful of frustration and occasional cuteness.
She was and will always be the Matriarch of, I exaggerate not, dozens, which if you count the great-great-greats, is probably more like hundreds.
But. She apparently kept us all fooled that it was perfect apple pie that was keeping us in line and clicking our rosaries for the last 100 years. It was actually her mind.
Over the past 20 years she has become blind, deaf, and in the last year or so has developed mobility issues. We’re trying to figure out what she needs most, and my SO not an “expert at geriatric care” opinion is that “Little Grandma” has been suffering from some normal oxygen loss which results in tired thinking issues. In turn, this is creating a sudden onset of dementia that is moving faster than is easy to manage for her two daughters.
I didn’t expect that my mother in law and I would be at her kitchen table trying to figure out if all of a sudden Little Grandma has Alzheimer’s or not.
You’d think since my mother in law is a librarian and I’ve mostly been a teacher or student we could combine our tired noggins and figure that out at least a little bit.
Not so much over just one cup of lukewarm peppermint tea.
For now, my approach is going to be to watch and re-watch that music video of the Roches singing Alleluia that I found on Twitter while finally giving myself a Christmas sixty minutes alone.