A holiday journal

December 20, 2016

I left work at 2 pm today feeling very excited about the upcoming time off. It seems almost surreal that I won’t be back at work for two weeks.  I’ve had long Christmas holidays for years, but I never take them for granted. The older I get, the more I appreciate the time off, and the more I enjoy spending the time with my family.

I don’t have any big plans for these two weeks. Come along with me on my holiday journey.  Let’s see how it unfolds. 🎄

December 21,2016

I slept better last night than I have in months. I didn’t wake up until it was light outside. I went back to sleep and rolled out of bed at 10:30.  Joined my husband for breakfast at our usual, Waffle House. It’s a place where everyone knows our name. It is our Cheers. I ordered hash browns, smothered, covered, chunked, diced, and peppered with 3 peppers. The waitresses and cooks are used to the 3 peppers thing. If I get more than 3 jalapeño peppers my hash brown dish is too hot!!

We went to the grocery store and stocked up for the holiday weekend. I bought all the ingredients for making peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies. It’s the only time during the year that I bake.

When I got home, I noticed that 6-year-old Breezy had called me on FaceTime. She wants to spend the day tomorrow. I told her we’d go see the new movie “Sing.” So far, I’m loving the holidays.🎅🏻

December 22, 2016

Before Breezy, her 11-year-old sister and I went to the movie we went to get a picture made with Santa. After the picture was snapped, Santa asked the girls what they wanted for Christmas. Sissy, who has known the ‘truth’ about Santa for a few years now, told him she wished she could have her Paw Paw back.  A tall order for a mall Santa. My eyes filled with tears. Her grand father died on her 11th birthday 6 months ago. I remember the grief of an 11-year-old girl who lost her grandpa. That girl was me. I ached for Sissy.

When we went to the computer to choose the print I could barely see through my tears. But we chose a beautiful picture, and were off to Bath and Body Works to buy the girls a treat.  The movie was adorable; we all enjoyed it and talked about our favorite characters. And so life goes on. But it doesn’t mean that the grief isn’t tucked just below the surface.

December 25, 2016

The girls and their parents came over to open their gifts at about 5 pm on Christmas afternoon. Afterwards, Breezy wanted to have a picnic on the deck. It was still 75 degrees or so.  I spread a comforter outside and got a picnic basket. Breezy filled it with food. No one was particularly hungry, so it was filled with treats. Breezy said it’s not a picnic without marshmallows so that’s where it started. We had drumsticks ( the ice cream kind), cheese sticks, mac & cheese, and ginger ale.

Breezy told me, during the picnic,  she really thought that it would snow today. Well, she said, we still have January and February. As we finished eating and cleaned up, she exclaimed, “I know how we can get it to snow!”

We set about going throughout the yard as she threw mini- marshmallows everywhere.  We had a white Christmas after all!  ☃️

December 27, 2016

Met two of my best friends for lunch in Buckhead. We all worked together for 12 years or so. It’s rare these days that we get together, but always fun. We talk with British accents for a couple of hours, swap shop stories and catch up on family. As it always is with good friends , it’s easy and comfortable, and you don’t want it to end. 🍹🍽

December 28, 2016

Time for some personal pampering. Got a pedicure and nail fill today. Then I started next year’s Christmas shopping. Spent about 13 bucks at Kohl’s.

December 29, 2016

With the rest of the world we have mourned the deaths in Hollywood these past few weeks, but Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds deaths have been particularly poignant. I grew up with them. But, today we got a message that a friend from West Palm Beach has been but put in hospice. My husband made a couple of calls. On tomorrow we’re flying to Florida to say good-bye.

December 30, 2016

It was easy to find the house, although we’ve never visited them at this home.  There was a pink fire engine in the driveway. It is to bring attention to firefighters with cancer; it has been signed by hundreds, maybe thousands, of firefighters.   Our friend’s cancer is thought to be linked to his being on an early hazmat team. He is 52. Much too early to die. He is one of the world’s heroes.  At 6’5″and 240 lbs. he always looked more like a NFL QB or a movie star than a firefighter.

It was great to see him. He was still able to talk and laugh about good memories, although he is weak and it is obvious that all the visitors wear him out.  I am so glad we went. His time on this earth is very short.

January 1, 2017

Our friend has died. His death will bring attention to firefighter’s deaths from cancer. A study out of the University of Miami postulates that it is not only the carcinogens they inhale through smoke, but that seep into their skin through their rarely cleaned bunker gear. It will change the way gear is treated and traded out, I imagine.  It probably already has had great influence. Our friend’s battle is 9- year’s old now. He was very brave, but very tired.

This is not the holiday I thought it would have been, but I would not change it. God is in control.

May your new year be filled with rich blessings of friends, family, and faith.

dmzh

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