Posts Tagged ‘Christmas dinner’

When I was very growing up, the whole family, including my gran, aunts, uncles and cousins, used to come to our house for dinner nearly every Christmas Day – There were a couple of years when we all went out to a local hotel or restaurant for dinner, but that was the exception rather than the rule.

christmas-family-dinner_tableOver the years the numbers gathering at Mum and Dad’s have dwindled significantly, as my cousins grew up and had their own families, and older members of the family passed away. For a number of years there was still four then five of us for Christmas dinner, as there was always Mum, Dad, Aunt Mae and me and then after I got married, Sandy joined us too. Although when Sandy’s Mum was still alive we usually had Christmas lunch with her and then joined with my Mum, Dad and Aunt Mae early evening. After Sandy’s Mum died, we, along with my Aunt Mae, we went to Mum and Dad’s for Christmas dinner.

Probably 3 or 4 years ago was when we first when back down to it being just 4 of us for dinner, as my Aunt Mae refused to come out her house to join us for Christmas dinner. As she’s now living in a local care home she’s obviously not able to have the option to join us.

Earlier this year, my Dad moved into a local nursing home as Mum was no longer able to care for him at home any more. That of course means we’ve been another person down this Christmas…so this year there was only three of us!

I know Mum has found this year particularly difficult as it’s the first year in over 55 years of marriage that Dad’s not been at home for Christmas. It’s sad how life moves on and people who are a huge part of our lives are no longer part of it. However it wouldn’t be life if the people we know and the circumstances we find ourselves in remained unchanged for long.

So however many of you there was for Christmas Day this year, I pray that while there may have been empty spaces at your table where once loved ones sat, you are happy in the knowledge that they are in heaven with God now, whole and pain-free.

Never forget those who are no longer alive, but have had an impact on your life, whether it was just for a brief moment or for many years, because they will still be watching over you, and will know they are on your mind.

So we’re just about at the end of 2010, so today I’ve been having a wee think back over the last 12 months about my 2010, and how that would have been recorded in newspaper headlines…

Family Health Concerns Grow

For me this year has started badly when in January Dad fell in the snow/ice and hit his head of the pavement and ended up in hospital for several days. Although the fall didn’t in itself cause any major problems, it has seemed to Mum and I that this has speeded up the progression of my Dad’s dementia quite dramatically. Basically he’s got much much worse ever since January, so that now he only recognises Mum, hubby and me – anyone else including other relatives and longterm friends and neighbours, he doesn’t know. It’s very sad and also very difficult, particularly for Mum.

Earlier this year I was devastated when Mum told me that Dad that told her he didn’t think he had long to live. And to be honest this has haunted me ever since even though until yesterday, I don’t think Dad had said this for a few months. However just to finish of the year on a low note, Dad said this to Mum again yesterday.

The next casualty this year was my hubby who I had to take to the hospital on several separate occasions, one of which resulted in him being admitted to hospital for a number of days.

In July, just the week after my hubby had been in hospital, my Mum found her sister lying part way down her stairs one morning. To cut a long story short, my Aunt ended up in hospital for about 2 months. Mum and I then went to visit my Aunt at least once every couple of day for those 2 months…what a lot that took out of both Mum and me!

Finally my Aunt for discharged from hospital to a care home for respite care for 4 weeks, though we were hopeful she might decide to stay on at the care home as we weren’t comfortable with he living on her own anymore – particularly after discovering she’d given out a cheque for over £3,000 to a guy who came to her door and told her her roof needed replacing! We managed to get the cheque stopped, thankfully!

My Aunt has since decided to stay in the care home, although Mum and I are still looking after her house just now…and there’s another problem…

After the severe weather a few weeks ago, we discovered 3 burst pipes in my Aunt’s house, so I’ve had to go down there a number of times to lift lino/carpets and wait for the gas man to come and supposedly fix the heating – I say supposedly, because we are finding that the heating stays on for anything up to a few days, but then goes off again – So i’m going in every few days to check if the heating’s on and if not, reset it! Scottish Gas weren’t interested in sending someone out to us just now because of all the folk with no heating/water! Mum continues to try!

And then there was Christmas Day…we had booked Christmas dinner at one of our local hotels with my Mum and Dad. But as has happened this year, things didn’t go to plan…hubby was sick so couldn’t make dinner, and half way through dinner, Dad didn’t feel well. So Christmas Day was a bit of a low…although it was a fantastic day as far as presents were concerned!

The Uncertainty Continues

Then there’s the ongoing saga of my health…basically this year’s been much the same as the last few. i.e. Ongoing severe pain issues.

New and Old Friends Make My Year

So this year has obviously felt like there have been more lowlights than highlights, however as I take more time to consider events of this year I realise that though I may not have initially considered it a highlight, I now realise that I could not have got through this year without the support of many friends (and family members).

I don’t want to mention specific people as I’ll only miss someone out! So suffice to say that someone of those who have been most supportive to me are some new (and some old) friends I’ve got to know through Twitter and Facebook – you know who you are – All I want to say to you is a huge thank you for all the love, support and prayers you’ve given me (and my family) throughout this last year, I really have appreciated it greatly.

So there’s my year, how’s your 2010 been? I hope whatever you have faced this year you have had some highlights which you can cherish as memories for a long time.

…and finally

Just to finish off this year can I remind you not to ever underestimate how many blessings you receive and give out over  the period of a year. Many may seem very small and insignificant, however they may well have had a massive impact on the recipient – they may have meant the world to them!