Don't feel sorry for me, this is the best Christmas gift ever. Uncle Junior rallied and is off of all wires and tubes. He will forevermore have to be on dialysis, but his heart and blood/oxygen levels are back to normal and the infection is responding to treatment. But because of his reversal in health, my in-laws did make the trip and arrived here safely yesterday.
So how, you might ask, have I ended up sitting here all by myself on Christmas Eve? Why am I not at church and singing the perfect Christmas song at our wonderful/ most well-attended service of the year? Well, I came down with a nasty chest cold on Sunday (don't feel sorry for me, I always do at this time of year) and then my in-laws brought their big, fuzzy, long-haired, chow mix allergy dog into my house and basically destroyed my chances of feeling better. So they took care of E all day and I cooked some of tomorrow's food a little bit, rested a little bit, cooked a little bit more for tomorrow, rested a little bit more. I read "The Water is Wide" by Pat Conroy and have started on "Nickel and Dimed" by Barbara Eiren-something or other. Aside from the raging fever, it's been wonderful. I haven't had time to read in months. I took a nap with my head in Hubby's lap and I took an hour long bath. These are all luxuries that I had forgotten existed. Maybe I am milking being sick for all it is worth and I feel like crap, but I think I earned a little bit of R & R.
So that being said, in this quiet moment in my life, I would like to take a moment to share what I think are the greatest gifts in my life, things that can't be bought with money.
1. I am thankful that I have a daughter who decided she wanted to feed the homeless for Christmas and didn't just assume someone else would do it. She gathered her friends together and went Christmas caroling through the neighborhood to raise money for the local food bank and made $22.11.
2. I am thankful for friends who heard the tale of her caroling and mailed her blank checks to add to her cause, raising the total she collected to $102.11.
3. I am thankful that when my daughter asked me to buy her fresh cherries in the grocery store, I didn't have to stop and say "I'm sorry, honey, we can't afford to pay 7.00 for fresh fruit." Last year at this time, that would not have been the case.
4. I am thankful that I have a husband who, instead of taking shelter and hiding, is not afraid to face head on into the storm when I start to rage and feel turbulent. He has a way of soothing my savage soul when no one else can.
5. I am thankful that I have managed to reconnect with some old friends this year. They help remind me that who I was is not lost.
6. I am thankful that I have made some new friends this year, albeit online. It's been a tough year for my emotional self and all of your comments have made me realize that others feel exactly like I do, so maybe I'm not as crazy as I thought. So thanks.
So I hope you won't be offended if I wish you a Merry Christmas (my husband is a pastor after all). But whatever your beliefs, I hope the spirit of the season brings you peace, joy and laughter.