I wasn’t exactly looking forward to Christmas this year. So much sadness going on in this country and in the world – the Garner and Brown cases, and the killings of more than 100 children at a school in Pakistan, just to name a few. So for the last few weeks, I had lost my voice, I just didn’t have the words to express everything I was feeling. That all changed on Christmas morning. My voice came back!
We arrived early at the Seward house to open gifts and there was excitement even as Kim had been up most of the night like many parents assembling gifts. Kendal even had a fever, BUT she loved EVERY SECOND of opening her presents and we loved opening ours!! We laughed as she pranced around in her chef jacket and hat, we yelled “ooooh” and “ahhh” and “yay” as every package was torn open. We cherished the many photos we took, and we ate a wonderful breakfast prepared by Herb.
From there we went a few miles away to see my niece Nia and her family. I haven’t spent a Christmas morning with Nia since she was a little girl. It was a joyous time! We love Keith, and Nia’s kids Karter and baby Krista and arrived in time to see them open their gifts to each other. Though Karter didn’t say much while we were there, he reached up to us to be held and he explored all his new toys with great curiousity. It was pure bliss holding Krista Renee close to my chest as my cross with my sister’s ashes lay across my heart. My sister Renee would love her grandkids if she was still with us!
The last stop of the day was to see my mom, and I prayed there’d be a few moments of joy. To my surprise, there were actually many moments of joy. We listened to her read her Christmas card over and over, we ate a small Kit Kat bar, which I shared with her was her favorite candy of all time. But the thing that will sustain me the most as her dementia progresses is the hug she gave me as we departed that day!
At the end of the day, I was thoroughly exhausted and in bed by 9pm! I wasn’t exhausted because I had been up all night, because I had not, or because there was family tension, because there was none. I was exhausted because of the pure love and joy that I expended and received on Christmas Day. Joy that makes you feel as if your heart is going to burst is exhausting!! You think you can’t take another moment of joy, and then more comes. You soak it all in and then you’re drained. And there’s no other feeling like it! It’s the best exhaustion Ever! Can’t wait for next Christmas!