Friday, December 29, 2006

Three Strikes of Christmas!

This was a nice Christmas, but a weird Christmas. Everything bad always happens in threes. Kate started it all by moving to Hawaii and not being able to come home for Christmas. That was very upsetting to me even tho’ I got to spend Thanksgiving with her. I decided to make up for missing her by making her a stocking and mailing it in time for the holiday. Now, I am very craftsy, and had made a felt stocking for each child as it came along, but I didn’t want to ship her 1979 stocking out to the Pacific. So off to the store to fetch felt- of course, they are all sold out of red, and limited in colors. I ended up making a green stocking, and on it I put a volcano, a palm tree and the sea with little fishes- all the things we enjoyed together on my visit. I found some paper ribbon that made excellent palm leaves and ocean. I laughed out loud and took a picture when I was done. I also made her a huge felt tree to hang on her door, and glued ornaments and fake lights on it. I filled her sock with goofy stuff- I went on the theme of sight, sound, smell and taste of Christmas at home and so pine potpourri from the Christmas Tree Shop, Hebert Candy Mansion fudge, candy canes, a bracelet with jingle bells, a photo of the two of us all got stuffed in with a few gift cards. I hope to hell she got it in time- the post office said she should but their supplies got held up due to blizzards canceling planes.
We have our celebration on Christmas Eve: it used to be at my parents’ until my mom had knee surgery & we switched to rotating every year at the three daughters’ houses. My widowed Aunt Mae and her son always spent the Eve with us as well.
My dad requested that we have dinner really really early; his health is not great and he tires easily (the “sundowning effect” it’s called in geriatrics). It being my turn to host our family on Christmas Eve, I emailed the family our dinner time. One of my sisters and her family elected not to come; she had said last year she wasn’t coming, so her kids worked on Christmas Eve and they stayed home. Strike two!
Then my mom got really sick- I called one morning and my sister Sue was there. She said they needed to get Mom to the ER, so I hopped in my car, but by the time I pulled up she had called an ambulance. My mom was ashen grey and couldn’t catch her breath, never mind walk. The ER ran a bunch of tests and they figured it was flu (she DID get her shot), so they planned to send her home til they saw her walk to the bathroom for a urine specimen- it took half an hour to get her to the bathroom and she was so sick when she got there we had to get her right back on oxygen. They kept her four days- her culture was positive for a strain of flu that was not in the shot, so I suspect she picked it up at work in the Wang Center (damn those Rockettes!). It took me and Buck, a wheelchair and a walker to get her home- she refused to go to rehab and she really did think she was coming to my house. I put my foot down and said no- and my dad said he was staying home with her. I think he was really relieved because he gets so nervous going anywhere. Strike Three!
We all went in on Christmas Day to see them.

But I have never had a Christmas holiday dinner without my parents, all my kids, and my sisters and their kids before.
:( My family is more important to me than anything, but it just didn't happen for me the way we are used to. SO- we made the best possible Christmas we could, and enjoyed the loved ones who were there with us.

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