Friday, December 23, 2016

Scrambled thoughts at Christmas

December 23,2016

My intentions have been good each night. This time of year there’s so much to blog about—caretakers and visiting family, children rejoicing at the end of school and friends come to make Christmas visits, meals at once sparse and plentiful. And each night before I can unscramble my thoughts, it’s bedtime and I’m fading.

Today was a long day. Colin came to get me yesterday, and we planned to leave early today after delivery of my new mattress. The mattress was in plsce by ten; we left at two. Tells you something about my days.

After promising to pack for three or four nights, Jordan packed my clothes, cosmetics, medical supplies (for a while it takes a truckload), Sophie’s paraphernalia, my computer—you’d have thought I was moving in for  a month, not a week. Colin even put the old mattress in  his truck, and I’ll be sleeping on it, then leaving it for granddaughter Morgan. It took a bunch of the morning, and then friends came to chat. We decided by then to each lunch before departure. Colin went to gas his truck and buy lunch for himself and Kegan.

Next Wed. Jordan and Jacob will arrive, spend a day, and take me home to FW. It’s nice to be able to leave the house in the Burtons’ capable hands. In some distorted way it’s even nice to be the invalid in the family. This unexpected health problem has brought us all closer together and I was besieged with offers too be my caretaker. Colin, however, had been on the books since last Christmas.

Over the last month I’ve also enjoyed three-, four-, and five-day visits from each of my four, which has also brought us closer. Apparently after I went to bed, whoever was with me reported to the siblings. Colin shared one  of his reports with me. Herewith the first few lines:

“It’s been almost three days since I drove up the narrow driveway and parked in front of what had, up until now, been pleasantly known as “The Cottage”.  As I watched the automatic gate shut in my rear view mirror, I was unaware, but later amused, by the prison sentence that it foreshadowed.

“I should tell you about my cell-mate.  She is a 78-year-old uber-left leaning mystery author with a broken right ankle and destroyed left hip who scoots around backwards like a cross between a pinball and a dog with an itchy bottom – sometimes wearing an Obama shirt/nightie.

Confined to close quarters, we have been within 20 feet of each other for 68 hours now……and counting.  Our arrangement is that of caregiver and ward but it is actually much more than that.  You see, over 4 decades ago the roles were reversed.  She is my mother.”

Tonight we Alters find ourselves  in different households preparing to celebrate with different families. But we are ever mindful of the great blesssings we share. “And of these, the greatest is love”-God’s gift to all of us as we welcome the Christchild and look ahead to a season of growth and longer days and maybe—I still believe it possible—greater peace on earth. I didn’t mean to veer off into a   sermon but I can’t quite see an equal battle between  the power of God’s love and the forces of Donald Trump and those who would drag our country down  for their own sake.

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