Once again, I am sitting by the Christmas tree, looking out on the pristine, snowy landscape outside my home, laptop on my lap. I am wondering where this particular day shall take me.
In all our thirty-five years of marriage, this is, perhaps, the most unusual of all Christmas days. This is the first Christmas that we shall not be hosting a large dinner with family as we always have. We have always hosted at least two of the three boys and significant others in recent years, this year, none. That is very unusual. This year turned out to be the year that the eldest was visiting his wife’s family for Christmas, alternating one with us, one with the in-laws. Our second son is going to be with his fiancée’s family, and of course, our third is in rehab.
We plan to visit my wheelchair bound mother in her nursing home, Mary Kay’s mom in her senior apartment and then visit Michael in the several hour window at the treatment center where he shall be until January the 4th. We are only allowed to take him packaged cookies. He had, in fact, received his Christmas gifts at our family Christmas gift exchange over a week ago.
The quiet is almost overwhelming, even the dog is silent. So far, the only activity we have had is a bit of snow removal and the opening of the personal gifts we have for each other. We went to bed late after having cleaned up after the Christmas Eve celebration, also a bit out of the ordinary for us. This is an odd year in so many ways. Attending our celebration was our second son and his fiancée, our “fourth” son, Charlie, and two special good friends. Normally, this celebration is much larger as well.
We gathered our gifts and headed to see MK’s mom. Dropped off her gifts, she was still in bed. Then stopped at the nursing home to see my mom. She was hard to find but we finally located her. We had a nice visit. By now it was lunch time so we headed off to one of the few open restaurants in the area and had lunch. It was less than great, this was the first time in my almost 60 years that I have had Christmas in a restaurant.
We then headed north to see Mikey. As it turns out, they had given us the wrong info and we could have gone to see him earlier. We gave them our packaged cookies and they checked the magazines we brought Mikey. The aide at the door laughed when I said that the cookies were for the “inmates.”
Mikey looked great, we met in the major meeting area. We talked about everything from the past, when his history of marijuana, etc. started, and talked about the future. He seems to have a good vision of things, wants to use his people skills somehow in a new profession. He is not happy about time lost and we reminded him that his grandfather didn’t really start until the age of thirty-two. It was good. Mikey told us what he needed so that the next contingent can bring him the stuff tomorrow.
We are emotionally drained, came home and made a cup of green tea.