The holidays don’t exactly suck this year, but they’re not the picture-perfect, Normal Rockwell illustration, either.
Mom is entering rehab/long-term care, and I need to be there tomorrow morning, with her personal items, so she can start some semblance of what will be the rest of her life. Then I begin to shut down or suspend her old life. Phone, mail, cable, newspaper, banking, credit cards and all the everyday stuff many of us do without thinking will change. I am glad we are at the beginning of some form of closure, though I have no doubt that she will hate it – and me, particularly, for doing this. Anyone who’s faced with this decision understands the choice, or lack of it. Cannot stay alone, cannot afford the luxury of staying in one of our homes (none of us can quit our jobs), not ready to be at home with an aide.
None of us want it, for ourselves or anyone we care about. But it happens every day. I take some comfort in that. And some of my friends have been along for this messy train wreck of a ride, including many of my virtual posting friends, one of whom sent me a little holiday ditty, punning on my name, and those of a few other fellow board posters:
“Jake The Halls with Matzah Balls, iggy’s gettin’ jiggy, so is nancypooh. We’ll have lots of Matzah soup, iggy’s gettin’ jiggy, so is nancypooh. Don we now our chatting slouch wear, iggy’s gettin’ jiggy, so is nancypooh. A comfy bed is gently calling, iggy’s gettin’ jiggy, so is nancypoooooooooh.”
Heck, I thought it was cute. He made it up when I mentioned there was a distinct lack of Hanukkah music on the radio during the holidays, and I could not listen to one more rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” or “Little Drummer Boy” without pulling over to the side of the road and randomly shooting at passing cars. When your holidays aren’t going well, you hate to see anyone else having a good time. It just doesn’t seem fair.
But then you think about people who don’t have jobs, and aren’t likely to find jobs anytime soon. About the servicemen and women who didn’t live to see the holidays, and their loved ones who will never see them again. About the elderly who live alone and have nothing to look forward to, not even a visit from a neighbor. About the children who want what the other kids have, but those things aren’t possible when your family is homeless and living in a shelter, or a car.
None of this is meant to be a downer, or a lecture on “don’t complain, someone else always has it worse than you.” It’s just a basis for comparison. Our situation can and will get better and be resolved. For many, there is no getting better, and in resolution, there is still no healing. I’ll take all the help I can get, whether it’s a favor or a funny song from a friend.