wings and things

A hot Christmas Day

on December 26, 2012


The first picture is of my nephew and niece over here with my brother from the Solomon Islands for Christmas. As you can see Gutsy9 was a hit! The second is of my mother and brother talking to Anthony (who is unfortunately out of the shot), with an ecstatic harpist in the background.

It is Boxing Day here and warming up to be another stinking hot day. Christmas Day was, as predicted, 40C so I am very glad we had cold crayfish for lunch. I always make Anthony’s mother’s cocktail sauce which consists of cream, tomato sauce, worcestershire sauce and lemon juice – yum. I had purchased four enormous cooked crays and my hands are now covered in little cuts from peeling them but it was worth it.

There were only four of us – Anthony, Ming, my mother and me. We usually do a bigger family thing at my mothers on Christmas Eve, but Christmas Day has always been fairly quiet which is the way we like it. We sat in our only air-conditioned room and ate the crayfish cocktail on our laps. Then Ming served pavolova with cream and bananas and we watched an animated film called Brave that Ming had chosen for the day. Anthony wasn’t coping well with either the heat or the air conditioning and he was extremely immobile but I sat in my usual spot on the floor between his legs and he stroked my hair and kept kissing me on the head, his hands on my shoulders. He loved having Gutsy9 on his lap.

It was indescribably hard to see him off when the taxi came to pick him up and take him back to the nursing lodge but, all in all, it was a brilliant day.

Later in the evening I rang Ants a few times because he was very low and I caught myself thinking about how heartbreaking Christmas Day is for so many and I got a big lump in my throat.

54 responses to “A hot Christmas Day

  1. At least Ants was there, even under difficult circumstances. It’s very sad for those who are missing family members at this time. Christmas is like that because of so much tradition. We get used to having family with us and doing things that we’ve always done. But things change and we have to adjust. My older sister is missing from her family’s Christmas for the first time this year, and we’re still missing our father-in-law these past three Christmases. It’s hard, but we have to remember it’s just one day. Then we can go back to our normal ways of coping with change and loss. It’s good that there are bright parts to Christmas. Ming and his harp. Your other family members. Life goes on.

  2. camsgranny says:

    I’m glad YOUR day was good, it is something to put into the memory bank, to bring out when we need it, and be glad we have it. Our lives have been forever changed through PD, but we do what we can with what we have. Cherish it Jules…and maybe Gutsy9 is telling you it’s ok? p.s. from a Brit girl, Happy Boxing Day!!!!

  3. bulldogsturf says:

    It sounds as though you had a good day, as I’m sure Ant did… his return, although probably traumatic for you and him, is a necessity and unavoidable… I’m sure Ant will have happy memories of the day, to have you sitting by him where he can reach you… will be a happy memory, May 2013 bring you more and more of these type memories, and may you three be blessed in 2013…

  4. terry1954 says:

    I cried when I took Al back. he did alright today but was so worn out just from the trip of getting here and being here. He slept a lot but did talk when he was awake. I think he like his christmas gifts

  5. A beautiful picture perfect day.

  6. oldsunbird says:

    I’ve thought of you lots today. Your account of your Christmas is so poignant, not knowing if you’ll have another with your Ants, having to send him back at the end of the day. My heart goes out to you, dear one. What a lovely picture–you sitting between Anthony’s legs and he stroking your hair. What a beautiful memory you made today! Hugs.

  7. dogdaz says:

    Love that Gutsy9 made everyone smile. Partings are hard, but at least you still have them. Glad for you fun.

  8. A day of mixed emotions for sure….Thinking of you….Diane

  9. Robyn Lee says:

    In my heart Julie ~ xxoo

  10. It sounds like you made the best out of the day. I’m glad to see the harp was a huge hit!

  11. victoriaaphotography says:

    Sounds like a perfect day to me. Special quality time with your nearest and dearest.

    A simple day is often the best.

    But 40degree heat – you poor things – at least Melbourne and up/over the nearby Dandenong Ranges, where I had Christmas Day, was summery with a cool breeze – about 22 I think).

  12. As long as you had a good Christmas Day that is all that matteed not how many people where present…………………….we had a wet Christmas Day the first wet one we have had in years……

  13. sbcallahan says:

    christmas and “the holidays” are so depressing for so many. even though some might say my cards are not so good i have to say i feel so blessed. there are so many homeless and those who no longer have family or friends.

    if this is the last christmas then atleast you had this one and gutsy was a hit! how can you not be happy with that little guy? glad to see the harp was a hit!

    we like to have a quiet day and were better at arranging that this year.

    i could see you there, sitting between his legs and he stroking your hair. what a lovely moment in time.

  14. I love reading about everyone’s different Christmas traditions.

    So glad you had a good day.

  15. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    big lump in your throat… you’re so lovely. I’m so damned glad you can see beyond the tinsel. There’s so much in the suburbs out there, in the shadows of communities…

    Next time anyone sees a black eye, I challenge you to think.
    My dad gave my sister a black eye, though she a teen. “I ran into a door” and ppl “believed” it.

    Anyway, thing I like most about this is “there was only 4 of us”. THANK YOU JULIE, THANK YOU. Daniel says we’re not a family because we are him, me, Sparrow the cat. I still reckon we’re a family, but….

    Love you short insight into Christmas for you.

  16. You wrote about your Christmas day so poignantly, my heart goes out to you. I can picture you between Ant’s legs, your words gave that image so much life. It seems to me that even though all of you were melting from the heat you had a wonderful Christmas day. If I could I would send you some Christmas snow from up here in Blandford. We got an inch yesterday and we might get much more for New Year’s. Your pictures are really nice.

  17. Sounds like a perfect Christmas day, although of course a little sad, too. Still glad you got to spend it with your family.

  18. Judith Post says:

    Your Christmas feast sounds luscious. I love lobster (I’m thinking giant crayfish must be something like that) and I adore pavlova. Our weather stayed decent for Christmas, but today there’s a winter storm warning and LOTS of snow. At least it waited a day so that people could travel yesterday. Mom wasn’t as bad as usual, actually had a few pleasant moments, so we had a nice day. I got BRAVE as a Christmas present and I’m glad I did. Really enjoyed it.

  19. yellowlancer says:

    Sounds like a truly precious day!

  20. dcwisdom says:

    I remember those feelings, too, of taking Dad back to the nursing home after a big, family holiday. Yes, very sad. I’m sorry, Julie. Ming’s expression (mouth open) is very typical – my boys do the same weird things in photos. But they’re sure cute brats, aren’t they! đŸ™‚
    Yesterday (Christmas Day), we had snow in Texas! (It actually rained all day until about 4 p.m. and then turned to sleet then snow.) NE corner only had a dusting of snow, but one hour to the west had 7 inches!!! So strange. Today, the temp only reached -4C, according to my outdoor thermometer. Brrrrr…
    Stay cool. I plan to keep warm.

  21. Lynda says:

    I’m so glad that your day turned out so well. Except for the 104 degree heat that is! I would be melting. God bless you and yours, Julie. oxo

    We stayed home, just we two, ate too much and stayed in out of the heavy rain. There were 40 tornadoes from Texas to south Alabama on Christmas day, and don’t we feel blessed not to have been harmed by one? (!!!)

  22. Tammy says:

    it sounds like it was a beautiful day, you really captured it poignantly in your words, your photographs. And I’m jealous of the cray – sounds delicious!

  23. bittersweet is the right description for your day – as it is the right description for most of our days–the good and the bad meld together to create our lives

  24. bluebee says:

    Glad that you got to spend it together, Julie.

  25. tersiaburger says:

    Even though things are really tough for you as a family your posts radiate love. You and Anthony share such a rare and beautiful love. It is inspiring and moves me to tears. So glad it was a good day. Ming looks happy too.

  26. eof737 says:

    At least the good part was that you had Christmas together…. Thankfully!

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