I’ve been receiving emails and phone calls today from friends and well-wishers who are all carrying a similar message: their Christmas celebrations are no longer tied to a particular date. “It’s easy,” said my friend Marty. “Everyone can be satisfied if you just forget that it’s all SUPPOSED to happen on December 25. We are having Christmas over several days–our family part comes on the 23rd and the 26th, and the kids are off to visit other parts of the family on other days. ” “Yes,” said Donna. “My daughters are with their father’s family this weekend, and we’ll have a family reunion someplace warm and sunny during the first week in January, and combine that with Christmas.”
So it all seemed very natural to be spending December 25 at Munson Medical Center, still tethered to some plastic tubes and glistening bags of antibiotic. As a family our combined hope is that we will be together at my house tomorrow night celebrating the part of Christmas that involves stockings and gifts, and rib roast and yorkshire pudding. But for today, it began with Chef Jonathan bringing our traditional Christmas breakfast to the hospital–quiche, fruit, stollen, coffee, bacon. I was most proud of him: it was his first quiche production, right down to homemade pie crust (ye gawds, even *I* don’t do that!) and my first REAL coffee in a week (the kind that leaves a mark as it descends into your esophagus). We opened a couple of presents–I received the reissued edition of Peter Bowen’s first two Montana mysteries featuring the wonderful Metis ‘detective’, Gabriel Du Pre. That kept me busy for the few alone moments during the rest of the day.
A wonderful gift came later in the day from my musical family in the form of a video of the TC Celtic Christmas party which I missed on Sunday–everyone saying hello and blowing kisses and playing my favorite tunes…that’s a ‘forever’ moment! Such a delight to have friends who know how to send such a creative and magical gift….
Jon and Sarah and I ended the day with the Munson Holiday Dinner–available to patients and their families , and quite elaborate, from the shrimp cocktail all the way to the Moomers’ Ice Cream dessert. Sarah made the infamous chocolate mint sticks, without which our family could not have Christmas holiday and brought some sparkling cider as well. A lovely ending to an unusual 12-25…
Some medical progress was made as well, but not much. Some doctors stopped by and basically offered encouraging words and commented on the diminishing size of my right leg–which is still fat and hot and crispy, as far as I am concerned. But I am doing all the right exercises, and once I am detached from the festive decoration which follow me everywhere holding a variety of fluids, I will be in good shape and with much greater mobility.
Increasingly, I am lifted and energized by the photos of Eleuthera which are on my computer screen saver and on the screen saver that keeps running in my brain whenever I shut my eyes. Eleuthera is where I intend to be in February, recovering health and spiritual strength on the beaches of Tarpum Bay.