Christmas and Thanksgiving have taken on a different kind of feel since Marty got sick in 2005. It just feels different. Part of it may be the time in our life when we are getting older and our kids are starting to have holiday celebrations on their own or with new families. Part of it has to do with not working every day so there is no time off for the holidays, we're already off. Much of the different feel has to do with working with Marty's new normal.
We never really know from one day to the next how Marty will feel or what we may be facing in terms of her overall health. This year has been good, there have been holidays in the recent past where we weren't able to celebrate or be with family because of sickness or just overall concern for Marty's health and safety. Suffice it to say, traditions of the past have been pretty much chunked in favor of working with our new situation and condition.
This year has been really different. The feel of the holiday has been really different. It just hasn't had the real red and green, white light, ribbons and bows feel of past Christmas's. Even with the snow I really haven't broken out in a spontaneous Christmas Carole all season long. I've done the shopping, sent out cards, wrapped the gifts and even cooked a rather dry turkey on my own. It just doesn't have the same feel. That's okay, it's just different.
We are at the lake this year and we both love that. Marty is doing good from a health perspective and we both really love that. We both really like the colder weather, it finally feels like a real winter, and I really like that. We spent Christmas day with my parents and my brother we really enjoyed that time. The day after Christmas we spent a good part of the day with Marty's brother and his family and we really liked that.
Maybe the holidays feel different because there is always the overriding concern for Marty. Maybe it's because we missed Christmas Eve services at our church. Maybe it's because I did virtually all of the shopping on the internet and eschewed the crowds at the mall. Maybe, maybe, maybe....I just don't know. And, yes, I do know the "reason for the season", got all that and have never lost that.
I suspect the different feel is just part of life's passages and that feelings and views change as we get older and as our priorities are altered by life. I also suspect I miss Marty's Christmas verve. She has always been such a driving force in any celebrations in our life. She has always been an integral part in all celebrations. Her spirit, her passion made Christmas for me. Marty’s spirit and passion have obviously changed.
Yesterday before we ate Christmas dinner with my parents, my brother and Renae I asked Marty if she would like to offer grace for our meal. She never missed a beat and without bowing her head or closing her eyes (I know this because I didn't close my eyes either) she prayed very simply, "Thank you for this food and bless us. Thank you for bringing these friends and family with us here today, we really love it". Simple and eloquent.
Christmas 2009 is different. Not worse, not better, just different. Simple and eloquent.