(Posted on December 27, 2010)
Have you ever had dreams - nightmares really - about not being prepared for a big social event you are hosting, or did not study for a final exam you must pass, or how about ... opening night of a play your are in - and not knowing the lines of your character, or the best one of all ... it is Christmas Eve and you have done almost nothing?? Maybe I am sharing too much of my personal paranoia but I dreamed them all - one of them was a reality for me this month.
Mom was released from rehab on December 23 - when we walked in the house, it was like walking into a time capsule with the date December 1 and I have 24 glorious days to get ready. In reality, I had 24 hours to get ready.
But time to stop dilly-dallying and get cracking ...
Number 1 - Get mom into the house, settled and fed. Check! Some of you may know that we have 20 steps from the parking lot level to the first floor of our town house. Those steps were the focus of mom's rehab. Once in our house she has a chair lift to the bedroom level. Steps 16 through 20 were a bit of a struggle for her, but in true-grit fashion, she made it. Yea mom.
Number 2 - Wrap the presents I had managed to purchase previously. Check! Now the Christmas paper wasn't pretty, there were no matching bows (actually there was no ribbon at all) and I didn't have name tags so I took a big old fat magic marker and wrote the names right on the wrapping paper. Am I classy or what!!! :-)
Number 3 - Call two of mom's doctors because some of her medications had been dropped/switched at the hospital and in rehab, and I didn't know that until discharge from rehab. Important medicines - like ones to prevent a stroke, or to keep her blood pressure normal or to help with her short term memory loss. You can bet I wasn't feeling very Christmas-y at that point!
Number 4 - Run to the store and get more wrapping paper!! *sigh*
Number 5 - Write checks to cover the gifts not purchased - everyone says they love money - this year they got a chance to prove it. Check!
Number 6 - Make dinner. My daughter was coming home that evening and volunteered to buy a take-out dinner, but after eating out for several weeks (eating at the hospital cafeteria can put you off food for a long, long time), I was happy to have a home cooked meal - even if I had to make it myself. Check!
Number 7 - Get the Christmas Tree up. Our tree is usually filled to the brim with a life time of meaningful ornaments. This year? Get the tree up, lights on, enough ornaments to be legal and call it done. Check, Check and Check!!
Number 8 - Throw some holiday cheer on mom. She looks good in red don't you think. Check!
And if you are wondering why she is looking like an Eskimo in my house ... mom runs cold all the time. Even in rehab, where I considered stripping down to my underwear to keep from sweating, she was cold. Be assured, I didn't strip - these people were all pretty old and I had no intention of creating havoc - besides, it isn't a pretty sight anyway.
Number 9 - Take Milo's picture on his first Christmas. Check!
Now you need to know that this picture was taken just prior to a major melt down between my two cats who LOVE the Christmas tree. Milo considers everything on the first floor HIS and wasn't interested in sharing!! Christmas spirit was once again missing for a bit. Eventually things settled down - Milo got his way. But someday that dear dog will get a claw in his nose. Glad it wasn't on Christmas! A trip to the emergency vet, while totally in keeping with how my December had gone, would have made us pretty sad.
Number 10 - Go to bed. A bomb could have gone off and I would have missed it. Mom slept great too. Check and Check!
Once again my daughter was there to help keep things moving along.
When I got up the next morning, I had received my first present - a full night's sleep.
More tomorrow on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day - both filled with fun and unexpected mayhem and joys.