Friday, December 11, 2015
In my daily travels, I've made friends at the local markets, bakery and pharmacy. At one of my stops there is a lovely woman whose husband brings her into work every day she goes in. He even helps her set up before going home. They are an old school Italian couple with grown children who do everything together. I speak with her husband often and the exchanges are for the most part short and concise. We discuss anything from the weather to families to holiday traditions and even politics and religion. Nothing is off limits. Most of the time we laugh, at ourselves and at each other. I walked in one morning at 6am, with furry slippers, pajamas and disheveled hair, which was sticking up all over the place (the joy of curly hair). He laughed so hard when I walked in and I was doubled over laughing by the time I went out the door.
One morning a couple of months ago he told me he had cancer. After extensive testing it was found to be stage 4, involving multiple organs. Our conversations of late have been light and we both tread carefully on the illness talk, especially as it is particularly upsetting to his wife. This morning I asked him how he was doing while she was not within hearing distance. He said they told him he had 9 months. He had a CAT scan last week and the doctors were very encouraged at his progress. The two types of chemo he has been receiving are evidently working. He looks great. We talked a little about food and diet and as I got ready to leave, he kissed the back of my hand and said "I really enjoy our conversations." I held my tears until I was in my car.
It is bittersweet, so happy to hear his treatment is going better than expected, but knowing there is a clock ticking. What moved me was knowing that I am responsible for one of his smiles on the days I see him. I think we all know there are people we make smile, but we rarely hear them actually express it. We all should thank those that make us smile. It is such a fantastically uplifting experience. He was the reason I smiled all day today.
Saturday, December 5, 2015
"We're kicking off our fun old fashion family Christmas by heading out into the country in the old front-wheel drive sleigh to embrace the frosty majesty of the winter landscape and select that most important of Christmas symbols." - Clark Griswold, Christmas Vacation.
We normally put our tree up the day after Thanksgiving, but this year, due to extremely mild temps, we decided to get our outside decorating done first.
This afternoon, we will make the venture out to a cute little tree stand, a mile and a half away, to choose our tree. We'll cram it indoors, plop it in the stand and hopefully secure enough that it doesn't fall over, as it has every year.
A couple of years ago, I wrote this poem, with a little help from my son. I'm quite proud of it as I am no poet, and I thought I'd share it again!
Twas the Week Before Christmas... (2013)
Twas the week before Christmas and all through the house
My sons and I decorated, with no help from my spouse.
The stockings were hung on the rail by the stairs
The blankets and pillows decorated the chairs.
Unfortunately we tied the tree to the wall,
Because after a few days of tipping we feared it might fall.
Part of the village was set up under the tree,
And some even sat on the table near the TV.
The nutcrackers guarded the TV remotes.
To see the outside, we had to put on our coats.
Santa and Mrs. Claus looked out below.
At Rudolph's nose glowing right there in the snow.
A family of reindeer stood in the side yard.
Where at Halloween, there was a graveyard.
A moose and a wagon out front with a light.
The beautiful decorations lit up the night.
A snowman will welcome Santa, that jolly old elf.
When he comes here on Christmas all by himself.
But no, he won't be alone this year.
He'll have his sled and all the reindeer.
And after he leaves, and rides out of sight,
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night!
(this was composed with a little help from my 11 year old son)
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Apparently, I have taken a hiatus from my blog since this past spring. There was a ten day trip to Washington, DC then a perfectly blissful summer where other than relaxing and being a Mom, nothing much else got done.
I was also able to spend some time immersing myself in recreational reading. I had denied myself this little pleasure in the past, but more than made up for it these past few months, finding great enjoyment from Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. They are quick easy reads and laugh out loud funny.
And now all of a sudden we are in the middle of the holiday and political seasons. The politics I can seriously do without. I have a hard time even listening to the current lineup - I think they're all out of touch and in some cases certifiably crazy. My heart is heavy over the recent attacks all around the world. While I am an admitted Facebook addict, I find myself tuning out the political and depressing posts and gravitating to the funny pages with inappropriate jokes and find myself getting quite a kick out of some of the more naughty Elf on A Shelf ideas.
Our outside decorations are up and I now have begun the task indoors which I hope to complete in the next couple of days.
And I am still in the throes of writers' block although I'm not really a writer. I find my mind wanders to the fact that my older son will be starting high school next year and he needs to make a decision as to where he will go, and my youngest son will be 13 next week! Where has the time gone?
So as Christmas has thrown up in my living room, I will have to excuse myself to finish up some decorating!