It is about 7:45 am in the morning on New Year’s Day and I am unfortunately awake. Unfortunately because I should frankly be in bed but given the genetics inherited from my dad, I woke up early with the sensation of a headache due to my metabolism, so I got up and grabbed a cup of needed coffee and a quick bite of something. I think I went to sleep around 3:00 am or so, so I am thinking a nap may be necessary at some point of time during the day.
A lovely evening spent with friends topped off the end of 2010, a nice restaurant dinner followed by coffee and every major dessert group I crave were served at one of the couple’s homes here in Deerfield. We had such a good time that the time literally ran away from us. A good amount of the conversation revolved around our situation which we are totally honest about, that is part of our healing.
I awakened to a most beautiful message from Christine in Strasbourg. Honestly, I am not sure that when we send messages to people under stress for all sorts of reasons, that we truly understand the power of our words and the calming effect that even the simplest expressions of concern may have on those we reach out to. This is most assuredly the case with Christine. She has reached out to us on more than one occasion, I didn’t even realize that she was aware of the blogging I have been doing but she assured me that she was aware of the “goings on” in north suburban Chicago. Once again, Christine has come through with words that make us feel better and remind us that we are not alone in our quest. She finds the time to do so in spite of the “Noël morose” she spoke of in the wake of the sudden loss of her dear sister.
Top that off with hearing from our dear, long lost friend in Boston. Bit by bit we are catching up electronically and via phone on the changes that life has brought in the many years we have not physically seen each other. He, too, has said that he is keeping up with what is happening here (via this blog) and reminds us that we are not alone, life has its ups and downs for all of us, that is why we need to make sure to stay connected and support one another and be so thankful when we can be there for each other even when we are so far away. He hints at acquaintance with the things we are going through, truthfully, no one is spared from the awful things that life can throw at us. But now, there is the tremendous consolation not only of receiving his kind words but also of knowing that the wound of losing that someone is finally beginning to calm down and heal.
Michael was upbeat yesterday when we spoke to him and he is soon to rejoin the Koerner fold and its inherent energy. He has expressed interest in a steak dinner; he is a “foodie” and a chef having learned all sorts of things from various members of the family and from professionals as well. He can bake up a storm and one of my funniest memories is of his brothers coming home and stating that they were hungry and saying, “Mikey, cook!” Not that they can’t cook, they are amazing in the kitchen, even Richie who never seemed to want to own up to his kitchen prowess.
Anyway, we are all pretty much on board to get together and dine in our combination of French/American eating celebration. We have pulled together all sorts of interesting traditions, both European, family ethnic (Hungarian, Italian, and Swedish), and American. We have so many protocols to observe, one of the most important being the “apéritif or apéro” where we have a drink, nibble on delicious snacks and converse with one another before dinner. Obviously, this year shall bring a glass of something non-alcoholic for Mikey. I have thought about this, wondered if perhaps we should not do it, but we have to continue what we have done as it is not harmful, even good for our overall well-being. We certainly have to be aware of effects on those recovering, but life must and does go on, even if there are slight modifications here and there.
I am hoping to visit my mom today. She is one heck of a trooper and although she claims her life was terribly hard, and it did have its hard moments, she has basically had a really good run with a few major traps that she found it hard to recover from. I am hoping that we can do something nice, family wise for her as she is going to celebrate her 90th birthday on January 8th.
MK’s mom is another story, we are doing our best to keep her warm, clean, and as happy as we can, that is, however, a major task as some people create a “bed to lie in” that makes it hard to even achieve that. It really seems that the more we check in on her, the worse it is, the emotional trauma being bad for all parties. Her dementia has been growing by leaps and bounds and it hasn’t improved on her very difficult, sometimes mentally deranged, personality. Due to a situation beyond our control, she never did receive what I deem to be the help with her mental health that she and the family needed and deserved. The result of this is that she was truly emotionally abusive to virtually every family member she interacted with. It is not that she didn’t have her gifts and okay moments, but overall she was a Caligula-like person whose actions were often mean-spirited and harmful. As time has gone on, her list of alienated people grows by leaps and bounds. She has wonderful caretakers who unfortunately put up with an awful lot from her.
2011 is going to be a good year. 2011 is going to be the year we make of it. Bonne Année à tous!