I could hardly breathe with pneumonia, and my throat was so sore it felt like pins were sticking in it, so even though my sweet hubby of 42 years was right beside me , being so kind and caring, I was more in the mood for turtle soup than doving! I was fun to be with also–coughing, sneezing, freezing, burning up…and whining all the way to the doctor’s office where yes, that precious man, my husband Max. took me! It was Christmas!
This was December 26, 2013, the second day of Christmas! I wanted to be cheerful! But my oldest daughter had just had her third child, a premature little girl named Evie! It was so devastating to have a grandchild in the intensive care unit of a big old hospital and not be able to be there with her to help rock and comfort! Ali was home now, the baby Evie was 2 weeks old today, but not very available to us! The other thing we could do was to keep 2 year old Katy, and Liam, aged 6. Had they really been here just a few hours ago? “Oh Dear Lord, please, please don’t let either of them or Ali or Greg get this pneumonia! You brought that little baby girl into this world, now let her family be there for her! Hope I’ll be sacrificial enough for you…go ahead, keep me away just not the parents or kids!” (This is the way I pray most of the time, in running commentary throughout the day! Sometimes I do pray more fervently, more focused and in a more reverent way I guess. ) I’d thought I just had a cold, one the kids had given me…so we were all sharing germs like all good families! 🙂 I was shocked when 3 hours after they left our house Christmas night, I began wheezing audibly and being very sick!
When my children were young, we celebrated the 12 days of Christmas in a very special way. We would choose a friend or neighbor, one who wasn’t well, or alone perhaps and each day during the 12 days of Christmas, starting December 26 and ending at Epiphany, Jan. 6, we would give a little gift in secret to this friend. The kids enjoyed sneaking gingerbread men cookies drumming onto the porch, ringing the bell, and running away so our friend wouldn’t know it was us! It was especially fun to see our friends smiling from the joy, almost as much as we were! Sometimes we gave things like golden earrings for “five golden rings”! Of course, they were not expensive. Day one traditionally brought a basket of pears with a lovely bird perched on top, made by one of the children of course. Maybe I’ll get to do this with my grandchildren next year. Please know, that although I am not happy to be sick and isolated, I am already, here on day 5 of my illness, feeling better enough to be sitting up writing! Not true just yesterday! The kids and I will be laughing together again soon! I also know, that no matter what is going on with you…you can almost always look around and find someone having more difficulties at this celebratory time of year! In my own small group, I know three who’ve lost parents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day! So sad! My own Mom died on Epiphany, 1980, I still miss her! I hope the ones who have lost loved ones will move to a place in their grief by next Christmas perhaps where they can truly remember the joy of the relationship and not let the death dampen the holiday, but instead, let it sweeten it with very special memories and perhaps even new traditions of honoring the loved one.
I love the second day of Christmas actually, because I am very blessed to have my turtle-dove beside me, and beside me for 42 years! Love you honey, and thank you God!