Friday, December 24, 2010
Twas the Night Before Christmas!
Christmas is my favorite time of the year! This Christmas has been different, not bad...just different.
I have over the years watched people become totally stressed out at Christmas...at times I have joined them. I have watched families fall apart at Christmas, concentrating on the stuff of Christmas or their challenges instead of the pulling together of family, the love and blessing of having each other.
But this Christmas is different....it is about slowing down, counting my blessings, taking care of someone who is completely and totally depending on me, reflecting and dreaming.
When I think of Christmas it is easy to get excited and overwhelmed about the commercial aspects. Finding and decorating the perfect tree, travelling and shopping to find the perfect gifts, getting a great Christmas picture and creating the perfect Christmas card, baking special cookies you make only once a year, and cleaning and decorating your house for holiday entertaining. Making everything perfect.
More importantly each year we bring out the nativity scene and we attend church together on Christmas eve. We travel to see family and friends and to enjoy great food together.
This year much of my beloved Christmas routine is changed. I did not spend hours getting the perfect photo or creating the perfect card...instead I ordered a card online and added a Christmas note and sent them out at Thanksgiving. I didn't walk around the tree lots looking for that perfect tree, I let Jeff find the tree, and he did an awesome job. The majority of my shopping was done online and shipped to the house...I never really went to the malls. I didn't bake this year but my sister did and shared her wonderful cookies with us. My house is not perfectly clean or in order. We needed to change out a room and add medical equipment, not the usual Christmas decorations. The nativity set is out and this year we will have to miss going to our Christmas service and will instead listen online. Jeff, Ben and Danielle will head out to Random Lake to spend Christmas day with the Mayer's while Sam and I spend Christmas with my Mom, Dad & my brother at home. My Christmas is far from perfect, it's kinda messy, a little messed up and a little chaotic.
With all these changes...I'm at peace. I am enjoying Christmas!!!
Because Sam is home, his hip surgery is over, he is recuperating and we are enjoying our time together. I may be the main person responsible for Sam's care and he is requiring 24 hour care but I am thankful to be able to do it. Our family and extended family has had to pull together again to help with Sam. I have enjoyed having family come visit although as most have learned I can never anticipate what will occur when they visit. Most of the major medical stuff has passed, the restraining to keep oxygen on, the need for oxygen, pain episodes, bodily function issues, incision management but we are talking about Sam and he still throws me a curve once in a while. I have enjoyed the meals brought over by friends and family which have again brought our family and sometimes extended family together at meal times. Instead of a special meal at a holiday celebration we are having them every dinner hour.
In my head...I have always pictured the perfect Christmas...you know the ones you see on the Christmas specials on TV...but this Christmas Sam has helped me to redefine again. He is always changing my perspective, challenging me to go back to the basics, to slow down and always count my blessings.
This Christmas I'm not just looking at Christmas....I am feeling Christmas. Not in the crazy, out of control, can't wait until this is over feeling but instead a peaceful and calm feeling much like the first Christmas. Smaller, simpler, quieter without all the fancy stuff but instead the drawing together of family, the pure enjoyment of each other. I am thanking God for the many blessings he has given me in my life. I am not angry about yet another challenge with Perthes, I am instead thankful for the new people we have met, the new lessons learned, the slowing down, the enjoying special moments...extra hugs, snuggling and watching it snow or laughing at the crazy squirrel outside, watching the deer, counting the turkeys and the togetherness that comes with taking care of someone who means the world to you and shows you your world in a different light.
I wish everyone could feel this peaceful calm! I wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and I ask you to again learn from Sam...concentrate on those around you, it's not about the stuff...count your blessings and leave your challenges behind, remember that what challenges us...builds us. Simply enjoy life!!!