Thursday, November 17, 2011


especially at Christmas
When 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


Anonymous said...

Renee, you are the best niece an aunt/nana could ever wished for. To make such incredible sacrifices are close to being unheard of, except in movies. Your stories, blog and aunty have the makings of a best seller book, and who knows a movie deal! Your other book could be Part 1 of this saga or movie. Your blog is filled with love, adventures, struggles, sadness, struggles, cancer, life, inspiration, triumph, joy, elated spirits, tradegy, etc. You may have to spice it up a bit, but you may not need it. I am sure you will know how for the movie deal as aunty was/is/seems 'mildly flirtatious', and you must have yours to add. May pure love surround you both, and lead her home. Sat Nam.

Michael said...

'Home is where the heart is'. We know where yours lie as well as aunty's. You light up her life like a Christms Tree in Arcadia, so I can understand the 'connection' for both of you. That is so beautiful and touching. Aunty must have been thrilled to experience Christmas, even if it's early, or may be she did not know due to her Alzeihmer's. What a wonderful, glorious, and sensorial send off to Heaven! I hope your holidays will continue to shine bright for you. Peace and love.

brianamet said...'re the BEST!

Anonymous said...

She was very lucky to have had you, and to be able to spend her last days in her own home.

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