A Bittersweet Christmas

My parents have spent every Christmas with us for about 24 years.  I know that because my son was three years old when I moved to Arkansas and that is when they started spending Christmas Eve with us.  When we moved back from Arkansas, my son was seven and we lived a couple of hours away from my parents, so they still came to spend Christmas with their grandchild.

About three years ago, dad said that he could not make the drive to our house anymore.  He was uncomfortable driving on I95.  So, for the last three years, we have driven to mom and dad’s house and picked them up and brought them to our house for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  This year, we drove to their house this morning and arrived back here around 2:00.  We visited throughout the afternoon.  I had planned a meal that would take minimum preparation, but still would be festive enough for Christmas Eve.  Right before dinner tonight, when dad got tired and hungry, he decided that he wanted to go home.  He says that no one told him that he had to spend the night and he needs to get home.  Of course, that is not possible.  We are not going to turn around and drive back to Washington tonight.

Tomorrow morning we have plans to go to my son’s house so that we can see what my grandson got from Santa.  Mom and dad are looking forward to see their great grandchild.  Right now dad is in the back bedroom crying because mom is not looking out for his best interest and is not protecting him.  Of course mom is upset because it hurts her feelings when dad has these episodes.  And I’m sitting here, so sad that life will never be the same.  Hopefully tomorrow morning when dad gets up, he will not remember any of this and we will have a nice day with the family before we take them home tomorrow afternoon.

But, with all of that being said, it just reiterates the fact that dad is steadily getting worse.  He needs the comfort of his own environment and his daily habits.  So this is probably the last year that they will be able to spend at our house.  We will see how the year progresses and where we are next year.

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