Thursday, January 09, 2014

A Little Different This Year

My Grandmother was born on Christmas Eve. On my mother's side of the family, we celebrate Christmas (presents, etc) on Christmas Eve. And, as long as I can remember, we've set aside a little time on that night to celebrate the birth of our matriarch. It's never been a huge whoopla- but it's always happened.

This year was different.

We all packed up and invaded the nursing home.

This past fall, Grandmother went to live, full time, at a local nursing home. We've all known that it was coming. It was just a matter of when. My Grandmother suffers from diabetes... and dementia. I hate dementia. It's a foul, wicked disease that robs the person of themselves. And robs their loved ones of this person they love.

We started to realize that bringing Grandmother home from the nursing home, even for one evening, was not going to happen. She had adapted to her new home. She was settled and safe there. It would have disrupted and disturbed her to leave. (I won't lie. That took me a while to wrestle with...) So we had to shuffle our plans around and make a different set of priorities our focus. 

As we sat in the nursing home cafeteria, I think all the adults had that moment when we realized that a huge chapter of our lives had closed. Forever.
And that we are moving ever to quickly to the moment when another chapter closes.
It was painfully obvious to everyone that this was not one of Grandmother's "good days"... not by a long shot. The next day, she didn't remember the invasion of family even being there.

We did cake. And a few presents. And pictures.

We're a picture taking family.
And we took pictures that day.
Pictures of the whole family that was gathered there. Pictures of Grandmother with her children. With her grandchildren. And with her great-grandchildren.

And we imprinted the memory of another year with her.

Grandmother Winnie with 8 of her 9 great-grandchildren.
I hope she's still here in June to meet the 9th.

With her 3 granddaughters.

And with almost all her family.
Not everyone could make it.

Christmas was different this year. There's no getting around that. Life goes on and things evolve. And, that's okay. 
I know Christmas 2014 will be radically different from 2013. Which was different from 2012. And that's all good. We'll look back at year before and remember the good and great with joy. Hopefully, we'll retain a little less of the bad. 

But, yes.
It was a little different this year.

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