A Difficult Christmas

28 Dec

Christmas has always been a time of the year filled with wonder for me.  Always a time when the little kid in me can still feel that spark of magic if you will … NOT taking away from the real meaning of Christmas in this, but there is something about gathering with family.  Being home in Easley.  Never knowing what Santa was going to do.  Enjoying time with family, especially with my mom and dad.  I basically left their home a little over 25 years ago to start a new home with my beautiful young bride, and Christmas has always been a time of coming back to that solid relationship with my parents and family.  And I have always loved it.

This year, however, was different.  It was good that both of my sisters and their families were home this Christmas. First time that has happened since 2003.  The population of mom and dad’s house went from 2 to 12 people, and no dogs to three.  Honestly, this year I never felt like we were too crowded or getting tired of being around all of those people.  Those people are my family and it was great!  But, that was only a bright spot in all of this.

This year was different.  Every time I go home I can see changes in Dad.  Not only is his memory going down, but his general awareness of where he is and who is there with him is quickly fading.  I see it in his eyes and hear it in our conversations.  I worry about Mom because I also see the toll this is taking on her.  She is overworked, yet very protective of her role … so much so that offering help is often met with a “no thank you.”

All of this has made for the most melancholy Christmas I’ve ever experienced.  I guess I’ve realized Christmas will never be the same again… Thought about that a lot as I drove yesterday.  We left Easley a little after 12, drove to Clemson to have lunch with Amy Williams and go by Krissy’s apartment so she could pick up a couple of things.  Then we drove to Charlotte to visit IKEA.  Then we tried to go to a Carrabbas in downtown Charlotte, and didn’t realize the Belk Bowl was going on in Charlotte (which Duke TANKED in the last minute and a half).  So we headed on down I-77, only to find bumper-to-bumper traffic at the state line due to a wreck.  We FINALLY made it to Carrabbas at Spring Valley, ate a great supper, and got home a little before 10pm.  It was the longest trip from Easley to Florence I’ve ever had.  A lot of driving time, maybe too much time to think.  At one point I was thinking “I can see how the Grinch got his start…”  Then I realized green is just not my color, so THAT is not an option even though Bailey would make a great “Max.”

All in all, I’ve got to get my head on straight concerning all of this.  This is where life has placed us …  It will be as miserable or peaceful as we allow it to be.  I KNOW my God will walk every step of this with me and my family.  Just didn’t expect it quite so soon, and quite like this.

9 Responses to “A Difficult Christmas”

  1. Dolly Sarrio December 28, 2012 at 11:01 am #

    Thinking of you and praying.

  2. Wendy Frazier December 28, 2012 at 11:14 am #

    I’m right there with you, friend. Tough times, but still thankful.

  3. Linda B December 28, 2012 at 11:14 am #

    Knowing just where you and your family are right now. The road is not short but God is there every step of the way. Lifting you in prayer my Pastor.

  4. Linda B December 28, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    Know just were you and your family are right now. It is a long road by God is with you every step of the way. Praying for you and your family Pastor.

  5. Cybil December 28, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    Right there with you Dave! Praying for you and your family!

  6. Ann Kennedy Hearne December 28, 2012 at 11:30 am #

    Know exactly the feelings your experiencing….but now find Peace in the Joy of having had those special times that some never have the chance to experience! Now I just try and remind myself I had more GREAT memories than bad…and that is what keeps me smiling! I feel Leroy with me everyday….and so thankful!

  7. Donna Murray December 28, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    So true, little brother. While it was a great Christmas with all of you, it was very different. It was hard to look at daddy’s face without tearing up when he realized I was leaving. Things are getting progressively worse with the effects of his disease. Mom told me she feels like she is losing her best friend. I know she is doing the best she can but it is wearing on her. All we can do is keep them in our prayers and that God will keep her strengthened in the days ahead. Love you so much! Glad you got to go to Carabbas!

  8. Flossip December 29, 2012 at 10:33 pm #

    I’m so sorry to hear that he is declining quickly. I read somewhere the other day that the loss of a parent is even more difficult because they are what stands between us and death– and that when a parent goes, it is our turn to step into their shoes and stand between death and our own children. So, when they are sick or ailing– we begin to see that spot forming for us.
    I’m sure it was written in a much more prolific fashion, but it made sense to me.

  9. Lynne Andersen December 30, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

    I know exactly how you feel. It’s hard watching all of the larger than life characters that make up our family reach this point. You’re all in my prayers. And you’re right about green, I think Cousin Eddie’s plaid better suits you.

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