Peace & Love
I have not been up to writing recently. Just been binge watching TV and doing jigsaw puzzles on my iPad. This season is emotionally fraught for me, starting with my mother’s birthday in October, Thanksgiving, my father’s birthday in December, then my husband’s birthday, then Christmas, finally New Year’s (which we sleep through).
Never much liked the holidays, for they usually involved my parents getting drunk. Arguments often ensued. But they were better behaved at our homes, as we created new rituals with our own families. My parents didn’t want to risk not seeing their grandchildren. Thanks to my sister for putting her foot down and clearly defining that boundary.
Years ago, I would host Thanksgiving. Believe I quit about the time I was hospitalized for bipolar disorder. My sister has taken on the role of hostess, which I appreciate. Her sons are the closest thing my son has to siblings.
Now that my parents are both in memory care and not able to join us, I miss them. Sounds odd, but even alcoholic families can be loving. Our illnesses do not define us. I miss communicating with my mother who since her stroke has severe aphasia. She doesn’t understand language, cannot speak, read, or write. Carrying on a conversation with my father, who cannot remember what was said two minutes ago, takes patience. My parents live in a lovely community. They seem happy together. But I miss them both. They are simply not the same. Dementia, both alcohol-related and vascular, and aphasia have taken so much of them away.


20 responses to “Happy Holidays!”

  1. Beautifully written and a good response Dyane. You have heart and soul. Pray Kitt takes comfort in our support… some moments can be extremely bleak and then we get the bonus ones. May the sunshine through and may your angels be with you always.

  2. You, too, Jennifer!

  3. Hoping you had a Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year Ahead !!

  4. So sorry for your loss. Hope the New Year brings you joy.

  5. So many of us struggle with the holidays. It gives one a new understanding and compassion for those who just can’t seem to embrace the holiday festivities. For me, it’s because my father died five days before Christmas. He was in the hospital for Thanksgiving of the year he died, so the entire holiday season makes me reflect upon illness and death.
    Hope you and your family have a good holiday.

  6. Merry Christmas. Wish you joy meeting your great grandson. I’m sure there are plenty of people who are alone, but not lonely. Writers, introverts, tend to be alone, but not lonely. Many of us write on the Internet, or can be found via writers’ groups (try for live groups).

  7. So many times I feel conflicting things. I think that is normal. We all have what is normal to us. I feel disconnected to the world at holidays since I am widowed….for about 12 years. My kids are busy. I find blogging helps be get away from lonelimess. Isn’t it funny that you can be in a room full of people and still feel alone and be alone and feel fine. Winters are harder for me. I think we need to accept where we are and know that nothing stays the same…..ever. Sometimes I feel like I am just going through the motions then I take of. I try to really appreciate the good time and deal with the bad. I am healthy….just can’t walk much. I wish I could connect with other alone people…not sad, just alone. I will get to see a great grand son who was born in Aug, on Christmas day plus his 3 and 6 year old cousins. I love being around children. They are so refreshing. Merry Christmas and give yourself a hug.

  8. Patience and resilience are both important. Self-care, taking medication when needed, and support help.

  9. Enjoy Tahoe. Too often people paint the complexities of family life in black and white, when our families have both strengths and weaknesses, and we learn from both.

  10. Working mechanism of brain should be normal in our lives. Sometimes it invites disorders to change thinking and understanding. We must have patience to overcome these challenges. Be happy and keep smiling forever.

  11. Dear Kitt, I can’t begin to imagine how hard it would be to have my parents no longer be the people I had known for years. Your strength in dealing with the incredibly difficult, heartbreaking challenges regarding your mother’s aphasia and your father’s dementia is, frankly, amazing. Not many people could handle the situation the way you have.
    On a separate note, as someone who grew up in the shadow of alcoholism, your comment “even alcoholic families can be loving” really struck a chord with me. It didn’t sound odd in the slightest.
    We’re going to Tahoe on Friday, and Tahoe reminds me of the stunning wedding photo of you and your husband on the shore. I’m so glad you two met and that you have your son—I know the season will be a tough one, but I’m thankful you have a loving, immediate family that surrounds you.
    Lots of love to you,

  12. Thank you, Mark. Merry Christmas to you, too!

  13. Thank you, Bob. Yes, dementia is cruel that way. My parents, though, seem happy. My father has become a zen master, always in the now.

  14. Merry Christmas. Send you my best as you enjoy what may be your father’s last “good” year. Grieving someone with dementia is incremental and ongoing. Not like losing them to death.

  15. They can be very difficult times Kitt, but you have created something new from the ashes 😀
    Have a beautiful Christmas because you have made it so. Be proud of that, for what you have created is made from much love…your love <3 😀

  16. Once my Mom was gone, my Dad had little interest in holidays. Then Dementia took what little was left. It is hard to be missing someone who is sitting right in front of you. I hope you enjoy the holidays anyway.

  17. I’m sorry this time of year is so hard for you, I don’t like it either. My Grandma had dementia and my Mum would say that when your loved ones are still physically there but their spirit has gone the whole season feels even harder in a way, confronting so many memories can feel like being in a constant state of an incomplete grief.
    Now that my Dad has Alzheimer’s and this will likely be his last “good” year, I understand what she meant. We are trying to fill it with as many happy moments for everyone as we can.
    I am so glad you can spend your Christmas with your sister and her family. Merry Christmas Kitt, and here’s to making new memories! xx

  18. Thank you, Cassandra. It will be nice to see my sister again. Plus, all the in-laws!

  19. I’m so sorry that you’ve been missing your parents. I hope the holidays are still special.

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