A few weeks ago, I abandoned the idea of dragging the Christmas decorations down from the attic this year. I love Christmas and all the “stuff”, but for the first year ever, I couldn’t find the spirit or energy. No tree, no decorations, no gifts. Just one single Poinsettia plant that my father-in-law insisted that we buy. And for the most part, the boys are okay with my anti-celebratory mood. They know that I am the one who must do all the work, and they understand my feelings this year.
Our house is quiet today. It’s just the three of us here. In some respects, it’s just another caregiving day. The calendar may say one thing, but the routine is the same as this day last week.
So as I sit here reflecting on this day, it occurs to me that we are like the little Who people in Whoville. There’s a Grinch that lives above us on the mountain. He’s a different kind of Grinch that has stolen from us before. He has stolen the health of my beloved husband. He has stolen the lives of his two sisters that bravely fought and lost battles with Muscular Dystrophy. Thankfully, my husband is still fighting and refusing to quit. The Grinch has also stolen time with friends and family away from us. We don’t travel and we are basically shut-ins.
So here’s where my story hits a positive note. We all know that Christmas will come with or without the gifts. After all, it’s in our hearts, right? A couple days ago, a very sweet lady from our church, who knows our situation, brought us some cookies, some fruit, and some kindness. This morning, my sister brought us some ham and lots of vegetables for lunch tomorrow. The kindness had reached me. Somehow, the spirit of Christmas had found me even after I had tried to hide it.
The fictitious Grinch can take many things away from us as caregivers, but the spirit of Love and Hope is always with us.
Tomorrow may be a quiet day. There won’t be a huge family gathering with children everywhere. There won’t be an appearance from Santa. The three of us will have good food and we will have each other. That kind of Christmas gives me a feeling of Peace. Yes, we will be okay.
As we celebrate the holidays, I wish you that same Peace. The Grinch will always try to steal things from us. It’s the spirit of Love that he cannot take. Yes, all of us will be okay. Let the community of caregivers say, “Amen”.