I was always wanting her to make a friend. She always had made friends everywhere she went. Looking back I realize she had begun to withdraw socially while she was still in North Carolina. I knew she had been but I thought when she got to Oregon she might open back up. She never really did. She liked my friends and care givers but she couldn't sustain conversations. She felt stupid. She had become very shy and insecure.
So when this little group of ladies squeezed into her room to talk about this little village and Christmas it felt like a win. She called me to tell me and was very happy.
She was afraid to go to bed with the little lights still on. She had trouble turning them off. She pulled cords until the lights popped off, which essentially broke them. I don't know if she got entangled in the chords or just lost her balance but she fell. She broke the skin above her eye. She had a huge black and blue mark on her face and more on her body. Just thinking about it makes me cry. She wouldn't go to dinner the next night because she was embarrassed.
I was always trying to create her world the way she would have done it for herself. There were often mixed results. Results that underlined that things were not as they had been and never would be. She had changed. I feel like I was always needing to realize that she had changed again. I had to keep up with her decline.
It wasn't all bad. There were moments of sweetness. We had fun. It was just that things got narrower in a way. It often felt like I was walking her along a precipice. Trying to keep us both balanced. And then she fell.
A friend fixed the lights in the little houses. I was going to put them up again because I would be there to turn them off. I was looking forward to it. I had plans. I've done plenty of Christmas, birthday and holiday days alone. I can do alone. But I've been with her for the last 12 or 13 Christmas mornings. I've made waffles and handed her presents and kissed her. I got the new frog calendar and frog chocolates. She smiled. I want that back. I'm not ready to not have all that. I had plans.
I'm not feeling bah humbug. I'm not feeling Scrooge. Facebook is filled with pictures of trees and tamales and cookies and smiles. They are all sweet. There are menorahs and Kawansaa candles. I smile when I see them.
I have been drinking the Hood River Coffee's Christmas blend. R asked me why it was a Christmas blend. I don't know. I always drink Christmas blends. It's a thing. I've had a glass of eggnog with rum every evening. I received some cards, which are on the shelf above my desk. Some very sweet friends sent me some very sweet gifts. I saved them until this morning.
It's just that I had plans.
I'll put the little village up somewhere next year. I'll bake cookies. I'll hang a wreath. I'll say Happy Holidays and be excited about things. I'm just not there today. And I can't get there. I know that's OK. I'm not worried about it.