especially at ChristmasWhen I found out Aunty had a terminal illness, I had to make a decision whether to take care of her at home or consider an alternative. But, let's face it. There is no place like home!
Of course I decided to care for my baby girl at home. She has nurtured, nursed and cared for me ever since I was born. Since her diagnosis in early September we have bonded to a rare and exceptional level. I have been nurturing, nursing, and caring for her with all I've got. These past two months have been the hardest two and a half months of my life. At times I simply can not believe how overwhelming and daunting it is to take care of someone you love more than anything in the world who you know is dying.
But, being like Aunty (happy at heart) I decided since we both have an extreme affinity for Christmas we would decorate and start the season early. Knowing Aunty probably wont make it until December 25th, I wanted us to have one last Christmas together. And, as it turns out, so did she. We put up our (first fake) tree and now our house is just like it is every Christmas except this year we have a hospital bed in the living room, a commode in Aunty's room, a home-health aide in the guest room, and a myriad of medicines in the bathroom. But, there is still LOVE and plenty of Christmas spirit in every room.
Aunty sure is glad she's home. Last weekend we played all our treasured holiday music including Aunty's favorite, Silent Night. She sat in her chair and swayed back and forth (well tried to anyway). You could see her smile as I rubbed her head, and then held her hands. I told her how happy I was. Just knowing that she made it this far, and is still with me, and able to enjoy our favorite season is the greatest Christmas gift I have ever received. I just cried and cried tears of joy and tears of sorrow. I knew it would be our last Christmas. But, boy the ones we had were so deeply satisfying they will sustain me until I hug Aunty again in heaven. For now, we are home for the holidays!
A glorious Christmas past