Welcome December...

It's amazing what 24 hours with no news can do for your peace of mind.  I can't believe it was only twenty four hours ago that I was ranting and raving, trying to clear my head.

Last night I was sitting listening to a combination of Christmas carols and my wind chimes.  Our gorgeous afternoon had given way to biting cold wind.  I even went down and gathered up a bunch of wood for a fire.  Although I didn't build one.  I fixed a glass of wine, put on carols and worked on finishing my kitchen chairs.

Hubby wore himself with therapy and climbing stairs yesterday so he was snoozing.  He even found the strength to shave.  Although I worry that standing so long wiped him out a bit.  He looked so much better yesterday, the swelling has gone down significantly, finally.  It's still swollen, but not like before.

While I was sitting on the floor putting coats of paint on the chairs, listening to one of my oldest Christmas cd's I was transported back in time.  My girl was little, her brother not even thought of or dreamed of yet, we hadn't gotten concurrent travel, so the girl and I were sitting in Illinois waiting hoping and praying to be in Germany for Christmas.  We made it, on Christmas Eve, but that album always brings to me the hopefulness of Christmas.  Of being flat broke and trying to make Christmas special for a little three year old.

I think that was the first time that I realized Christmas was truly not about the gifts.  Our gifts didn't arrive until late in the day on Christmas.  All we had were the few things her Dad had picked up.  Wrapped and stashed under the tiny Christmas Tree that he had hung from the ceiling because he couldn't find the stand.  It was enough.

The older I have gotten the more I have come to deeply understand and value the fact that Christmas isn't about presents.  It's about the feelings.  The love of being surrounded by your family and loved ones.  Time really is short, and all the "stuff" in the world will not make it last longer.

Forever I have made Christmas gifts, rarely do I give store bought.  I'm afraid this year it will be store bought. What little there are.  Ironically, it is not bothering me.  I've ordered something really special for my grand children.  And if there is time I am working on a special surprise for each of them.  This year, they are my focus.  Their loss has been huge, they need the extra love.

I was tickled with how happy a simple chocolate pie made them at Thanksgiving dinner.  They are typical teenagers and rarely display true feelings.  I may have to make them all their own batch of Christmas cookies.  That smile of happiness over a silly pie, that I almost didn't make because I was so overwhelmed with caring for Hubby.  That smile.  That is what it's about.  Those babies have been through enough this year.  The boys had their father longer, but I am not sure it was more quality time than their little sister got. Each will have their own special feelings of loss this year.  My goal is to help them and my girl survive those feelings and treasure those memories.

I haven't decorated yet, I am sure I will get bits and pieces done while I am home with Hubby.  While he sleeps I will toil, kind of like you do when you have a small one home.  As he's still a fall risk, I will not be far.  But when he's sleeping, I will work on small projects around the house.  When I'm not cooking meals or washing those darn sheets.  I am fairly sure our bed has never been that clean, ever!  In fact I ordered more sheets today, afraid all the washing is going to wear them out.

I was a bit surprised to wake up this morning to ice, lots and lots of ice, coating everything.  Walking the boys had a special terror to it today.  Hubby had almost fallen this morning, a dear co-worker loaned him a different walker as the one our friend loaned us was a bit too short for him.  Adjusting to the difference caused him to lose his balance and almost go down.  I am not sure which of us was more terrified. So walking or skating the boys this morning had me terrified of falling also.  All we'd need is for me to fall and break something.

This adventure has been interesting... to say the least.  Hubby and I have had many... this isn't the last.  But it's definitely had a learning curve.

Be safe and Happy on this first day of December!

P.S. Please include prayers for the family of the young man killed yesterday with hammers... just because... we are living in sad and terrifying times...

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