Thursday, December 30, 2010


Christmas has long been my favorite holiday. This year it was a bittersweet combination. A dear friends grandmother lay dying in Hospice, my own mother has once again entered into a "no eating" phase, but all balanced with the joyful presence of another dear friend who left the warm weather of southern Florida to shiver in the cold Northeast.

Holidays bring out the best and the worst in all of us. Truths are challenged, beliefs confirmed, friendships grow stronger and family can prove more elusive. My mothers gift to me this year was recognition. Christmas Eve afternoon, we spent three hours sitting and sharing our presence with each other. She told me she loved me and even asked about my husband name! I have no idea if she recognized me Christmas morning and that's the way it is.

I leave in two days time for my two week vacation. It was with a heavy heart that I said good by to my mother yesterday. Each separation between us, brings changes to her health and places her at further distance from her old life. I do not know what to expect upon my return but know that at the very least, we will meet again and she will know me for the first time.

This evening I attend the wake of a 104 year old grandmother who, until her sudden illness a week ago, was sharp as a tack and full of spirit. She lived and died on her own terms, something we should all hope to be able to do. Aren't we all on some journey or another? For all of us, my wish is for the wind at our backs, a bright moon to light the way and the warm hearts of those most dear, to keep us safe.

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