Monday, December 28, 2009

Welcome Back! (After A Slight-But Appropriate- Delay)

Here's hoping any and all had a very merry Christmas, and that Santa was good to you. My Christmas was kind of an emotional rollercoaster that started high, sank low, and ended up high again. As most of the regulars here know my parents are both getting up there in years....and after all the Christmas shopping was done, and all of the presents were wrapped, and the preparations for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were in place, my Mom came down with a cold that had her bedridden for most of Christmas Eve and almost all of Christmas Day. Naturally it made my Dad depressed- and me for that matter- and both of us were more than a little concerned when she slept for most of those two days.

I take that back....we weren't concerned; we were scared.

Though her illness wasn't life threatening or anything that required hospitalization , it did put a damper on the proceedings. We did scale things back considerably, and at one point I actually considered delaying everything until the 26th or 27th, or until she would be able to participate. Mom did make it downstairs in time for Christmas dinner, though she had to gut it out and was less than 100%.
We didn't open presents until the evening, which was a first for us.

And on Christmas morning, in the midst of all that had happened, I had my "Martin Sheen as President Jed Bartlett moment"- I looked up at the sky and told God how mad I was at him.

"Damn it! Couldn't you give us just ONE MORE?". That's right....I called out the Big Guy because I wanted one more Christmas with my parents- I don't know how many are left. And I acted with my usual maturity- I didn't go to church on Christmas morning, using the excuse that I had work to do for the day's festivities- but in reality I was too upset to sit there in a pew acting happy when I wasn't.

All I wanted was for my Mom to have that day to enjoy, and for my Dad to have that to share with her. All I was saying to God was that my folks deserved a better deal than the one they were dealt that day....and I wasn't going to be apologetic.

I guess sometimes when your honest about your feelings you get action- even from God. True, Mom was able to join us for Christmas dinner...and she was feeling better on the 26th.

But it all started to get better by dinner time on the 26th. We got a phone call from my brother and sister in law from Ohio- only they weren't in Ohio, they were halfway through Pennsylvania on the way to New Jersey for a surprise weekend visit. That's when it dawned on me- there were no gifts or cards from them this year. This was planned out by them all along.

They arrived late Saturday, and we spent the day with them yesterday, and a good part of today as well. They're both longtime Philly Eagle fans, so we watched them put away the Broncos yesterday to set up next week's showdown with the Cowboys for the NFC East title. We feasted on linguine and sausage, with some meatballs thrown in, tossed salad, and Sicilian chicken noodle soup.

But the best part of the time spent with them was the laughs....the greatest gift of all. The grab-your-sides because-it-hurts-laughs, laughing about family foibles and the colorful members of our clan who've passed on years ago. Its one thing we don't do enough of collectively as a society- to sit down at a table, share a meal, swap some stories, and laugh until you're drained. People need to reconnect with loved ones, and enjoy them, and appreciate them. Share and treasure the moments while you can, and then pass it on to the next generation- its a key to survival.

They'll be over for breakfast in the AM before heading home to Ohio.

They are two wonderful people who's act of finding some time to share saved Christmas for their brother- but most of all, did so for their parents.

And I cannot thank them enough.

(Promise you won't tell them I can be so sentimental...its SO un-Jersey!)


Sue said...

Alls well that ends well! glad your parents had a half way enjoyable Christmas, and you too Hugh! How nice of your brother and his wife to visit. Yours is the first I read of the holiday festivities, it was nice to read about Christmas and family and put aside politics for awhile. Christmas comes and goes by so fast when you get our age doesn't it!?
Happy New Year Hugh!

Hugh Jee From Jersey said...

Sue- And I hope you had a good one as well....I'll be over to read your latest stuff shortly.

You've got that right about how quickly Christmas comes and goes when you reach a certain age....and the time and people in your life become more precious. I guess its called "facing mortality", both your own and that of your loved ones.

And it is healthy to can the political stuff for a week or two, and even cut back on the news for awhile. The only current events I've cared about for the past few days have involved 100 yards and a football.

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