Marcella's passing knocked the stuffing out of us. We simply lost the ability to focus. Both of us. Her son, which was to be expected, but me too, which was a surprise - to me at least. My sister, who spent 30 years as a nurse, and who is also a pragmatist by training, doesn't get it. "She was 93. She lived a great life. She didn't suffer", she told me these things over and over, to no avail. But I figured out. It doesn't matter. When someone you cared about deeply for over 30 years is gone, it leaves a hole in your life. Double that for my husband and siblings and I cannot imagine. So we've just been getting by. Our 25th anniversary came and went, and though we recognized it, we still haven't exchanged the very special gifts we have for each other. Partially it was emergency dental work, then the flu, at precisely the wrong time, but I also don't think we had the heart for it.
Then there was the very disappointing election. I'm still stunned by a country who can elect someone who made every facet of this country worse. It isn't simply that he accomplished nothing. He made it worse, with the most deceitful administration I've ever heard of or studied (and I lived through Nixon). We, personally, are on the precipice (I'm not using the word cliff deliberately) of massive health care issues (e.g., won't be able to afford our co-pays), in 2013. I'm still wondering who actually can afford the "Affordable Health Care". But don't worry, I can get free birth control pills. (I hear the hormones make good plant food. The only purpose they would serve for me.) I feel a rant coming on so I'll stop now.
We are just catching up. Seriously. We just figured out where we will be spending Christmas. One of our families isn't happy. (Sorry Mom.) I spent the last week fussing about what to send our teenage nephews for gifts. Husband finally settled it, with one word "check".
Last year it was a town in turmoil. This year, it is all personal turmoil.
Nonetheless here are some scenes that deserve to be preserved:
An office Christmas tree (that we were discouraged from erecting last year) that each day had homemade "treats" appear on it and in it - including loaves of sweet bread. (I was beginning to be afraid of that tree.)
A Christmas party for the knitting teachers from the LYS where the owners gave everyone Nameste Better Buddies (mine is eggplant).
An SUV driving down Beaver Avenue with a red nose on the front and reindeer horns attached to the windows.
The barista at my local coffee shop tickled to death that her finals are over.
A concert of Duke Ellington's Nutcracker arrangements.
So all is not bleak. At the grocery store, the checkout person was chatting with the customer in front of me waxing poetic about how it will be nice "to get the town back" for a little while. I agree.
We just need to remember the meaning of the holiday, and get our feet under us again in 2013.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone. We start again in 2013.