Sunday, December 27, 2015

Another Bittersweet Christmas

Well.  Another Christmas behind me.

Another bittersweet Christmas where good times and holiday cheer are dulled by lifes sting of death.  Lindy, likely her last Christmas with us.

The day was nice.  We went to Lindsey's early in the morning to watch the girls open their presents.

Later, all were at our house.  Presents were exchanged.  Lasagna and fresh bread eaten.  Christmas chaos throughout the day.

And then, to wrap it up we visited Lindy.   It was a great visit.

She was having a good day.  Lindy is a "live in the moment" kind of girl.  She is very happy with the attention she is getting from family and especially from home health care who has promised to "be there" for her and Gene during these end times.  This, making it easier.  She does not want to burden Gene with her care.  And this is just what she needs to make this decision of not going on dialysis a right one for her.

She is being courageous and strong.  Funny and cooperative.  Acting and looking more and more like Mom.


It's been a difficult Christmas.  Memories of Christmas's past have flooded my heart and mind watching my sister's decay... and my heart is heavy.  She makes me laugh.  But then...  she makes me cry.

As we all gathered in her living room on Christmas night talking... laughing... reminiscing... I caught a glimpse of her beautifully decorated tree in the other room behind her...  the one Gene (her husband) decorated.  I couldn't help but remember the days gone by... when this old farm house came alive with Christmas.  When lights were strung from one end of the house to the other.  The banisters shined with garland meticulously wrapped around them and lights shone bright.  Presents were perfectly wrapped and bowed, sitting organized in their place below and around a fresh real tree, smelling of pine filling the air.  Talk of gifts.  What he got me.  What she got me.  What I got him or her.  Laughter.  Joy.  Celebration.  People flooding the rooms.  Fudge.  Cookies.  Christmas placemats made from past Christmas cards.  Christmas music boxes , gifts of Christmas pasts, throughout the rooms.  Christmas magic filling the farmhouse.  Love everywhere.  Happiness.  Jokes.  Sarcasm, just a bit.  Fun.

But now... a bitter truth has replaced the magic.  And though Christmas is sprinkled about the house of my sister, a tree there.... a santa hanging here... soup on the stove and a steady flow of people in and out... the magic has died.  Hearts are heavy.  Reality is no more joy and happiness for the season. But rather it is a season of winter like never before.  Cold and Harsh though the temperatures are in the 60's..  Her much loved snow has been replaced with fog and rain and overcast with sadness.  Empty hearts polished over by a pretending that everything is okay.

 Her and her husband were childhood sweethearts, and she married him at fifteen.  She has been the love of Gene's life for many, many years.  This is toughest on him.  Her love.  Her caregiver.  Her life partner.  I cannot even imagine his pain.  Please keep him in your prayers.

The past couple of nights have been worse.  It pains her to move.  She needs to almost be carried to the bathroom.  I pray her suffering is not long.  I pray for relief and peace to come soon.

Cherished memories of better days