Monday, December 23, 2013

A Smile for Christmas Present.

It's Christmas Eve eve today and I have to say I haven't been feeling all that Christmassy this year.  I feel like I had a whole bunch of other day to day stuff to do, and before I knew it, it was the 23rd! I had to scramble a little bit over the last week just to get the cookies made and the out of town gifts shipped off.  Luckily, I finished my present shopping a while ago!

I stopped by to see Dad during lunch last week, something I usually try not to do since I know they're busy getting all of their people fed.  Dad did not look to be in a good mood that day; he wouldn't look at me, even when I rubbed his back.  He ate his lunch, but it definitely felt like he was elsewhere.  After the meal, they got him up to walk him around the house a bit.  They've been telling me how shaky he is on his feet, and how reluctant he can be to walk, and I really got to see it.  He walked bent over, with his shoulders drooping, feet tentatively finding their way on each step.  So different from the strong, active father I used to know.

I came by for a visit with dad today, as well, to bring Christmas cookies and a gift for him.  I got him a really, really soft blanket that I embroidered his name on that the caregivers can put over him in his chair.  The cookies are ones that my mother used to make which have become a holiday tradition.  I got there just as they were finishing up lunch; the caregiver was feeding dad pieces of melon, which he seemed to be enjoying.  This time when I rubbed his shoulders, he looked over towards me and met my eyes.  I smiled and said hello and he smiled faintly back.  It was nice to feel a little bit of his attention.  I hope there is a part of him that can still taste and enjoy the cookies.

I have to admit that I think I've been feeling a little bit of family holiday sadness, as well.  Dad, of course, will be spending the day in his lounger, and I have no blood family available to spend the holidays with.  It's down to my husband and me, which is fine, but I still feel a little bit sad when I see all the stupid holiday commercials about family togetherness. 

Christmas, of course, will never be what it was when we were children; as adults, we must make our own traditions and special times.  I am lucky enough to have glad memories of childhood holidays - complete with fifteen types of cookie, piles of presents, much-loved ornaments, and my parents always there.  My family will never be what it was, and I am a little sad every year that this is part of what Christmas has become.  I am lucky and grateful for what I do have, however, including a little smile from my dad during lunch.

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