jmgoyder

wings and things

Last Christmas

on December 7, 2015

Last Christmas was the first Christmas that Ming and I didn’t bring Anthony home and, instead, exchanged gifts and food in the nursing home, where my mother joined us after church. She reminded me the other day that I had promised crayfish cocktail last year but failed to deliver; I think I was probably disheartened and just brought cheese and crackers. I don’t remember a lot about last Christmas except that Anthony was nonplussed by gifts given to him by Ming and me, and generally confused about how to open them; I do remember Ming being hurt and annoyed, and my own hot tears much later at home. It was horrible.

I am determined not to let this kind of scenario play out again this Christmas; if we can’t bring Ants home for Christmas, we will bring it to him, and this time I will do it properly. I will buy six crayfish a couple of days before Christmas and clean/de-shell them on Christmas Eve. Then I will make Anthony’s mother’s cocktail sauce (a secret-ish recipe!).

The real buzz for me is that Ming has agreed to allow me to do the pillow-case/sack thing for the last time. This means I can fill his special Christmas pillow-case with gifts just like Ants and I used to do when he was a bit younger (like a couple of years ago ha!) So Ming and I will wake up on Christmas morning and he will get some surprises and, hopefully, so will I. Then we will meet my mother at the nursing home for crayfish lunch after which Meg and Ming will probably go their separate ways and I will stay with Ants.

Anthony’s prostate cancer + Parkinson’s disease prognoses (both of which were determined several years ago), indicated that he would be probably be dead by now. So my wonderful husband – who never complains, who is never depressed, who never forgets me, who mentions Ming every hour I am with him – has exceeded his ‘use-by’ date.

Maybe this will be our last Christmas with Anthony; maybe not. In the meantime I’ve decided to take a bit of a break from blogging until after Christmas. I am messaging blog friends individually but this will take some time. If anything profound occurs to me I will put it on FB ha.

One of the most exciting things about Christmas is the Christmas Eve dinner at Meg’s (my mother’s) and this year we amount to around 20! My mother does the whole turkey roast thing and I usually bring the ham. Ashtyn Paterson (my niece) does the organisation of Secret Santa stuff. She is a legend!

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From L to R: me, Meg, and my nieces, Ash and Sage.

Sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t be happy whilst Anthony is in this predicament; then I come to my senses and yesterday I even lingered at my brother’s place instead of rushing back to the nursing home. And the other week, I lingered in Perth to see my youngest brother, his wife and Special K and, despite the dramatic circumstances, I looked at this family and wanted them to adopt me.

In February next year, Anthony will turn 80. He is not in good health but he is in quietly good spirits. Will this be our last Christmas together?


56 responses to “Last Christmas

  1. Sharon says:

    Julie I LOVE reading your story. I will miss Ming at corners.,, I know I don’t know you well but you both have a place in my heart.
    I hope you find joy in your Christmas xxx

  2. You all look so beautiful in the photo Julie! Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas. ❤
    Diana xo

  3. Terry says:

    You are very aware of the what ifs, so you will treasure every moment in the present . Have a wonderful holiday. Relax, smile, and enjoy all those near you . Lots of love and hugs sent your way from me

  4. Terry says:

    You are very aware of the what ifs , so you will treasure every moment of the present . Have a wonderful holiday season and smile and laugh and enjoy every minute . Lots of hugs and love sent from me

  5. shoreacres says:

    A blessed and happy Christmas to you all! It’s important to be realistic, but it’s even more important to keep living, and to cherish the joys that surround you. I hope all is delightful, and that you receive some gifts that you never, in your wildest imagination (which is, after all, pretty wild) could have expected!

  6. Thinking of holidays in terms of potential “last Christmas”, or any holiday, has been a very hard mind shift to make as my Father is going through so many of his own health issues.

  7. Enjoy your Christmas with family and friends and Anthony. None of us are sure we will be here next Christmas–so we should live our lives thusly. Merry Christmas Julie!

  8. Your plans sound spot on. That is the most lovely photograph!

  9. have a great Christmas. looking forward to your new years posting

  10. Judy says:

    Wow, Julie – this post title really touched me. I saw the pun connection immediately, with the dual meaning of “last.” Even with memories from the past, and the anticipation of the day when there are no more, nothing can ever change the love you carry for him. That will “last.”

    • jmgoyder says:

      Thanks Judy – still haven’t caught up with your latest post and feeling guilty in general about not reading and commenting enough on others’ blogs: time for a break! Loveya Julie

  11. susanpoozan says:

    Am glad to read that you ‘have come to my senses’. You are much more use in your caring role and to your family if you are in good shape.

    • jmgoyder says:

      Thank you, Susan. Your wonderful brother has been an invaluable support to me over the last few years and his blog is like a balm. But I think I just need to get off the computer and out into the fresh air for awhile. A very happy Christmas to you and your family. Julie x

  12. ksbeth says:

    we never really know when any of our last christmases will be, and i think that it’s important to find some happiness in each one, without guilt. as for anthony , i’d say make it as simple as possible and have the special treats and maybe a couple of gifts in bags so he doesn’t have to open them and even maybe a couple of gifts for him to give out to those at the home who care for him. i think less is more as time goes on, and the main gift is the company of those you love and security and comfort. see you after the holidays )

  13. I hope your Christmas is as splendid as you and Anthonys love, throw in a little Ming and Meg and it will be perfect. Blessings on you all Julie ♡

  14. Merry Christmas, and see ya when you return! XO

  15. tootlepedal says:

    I hope that you stick to your resolve and take a break from posting. There comes a time when other things are more important. I hope that Christmas works out as well as you would wish it to.

    • jmgoyder says:

      Thanks, Tom. Apart from replying to comments, I am taking a little rest from blogging. I will, of course, read yours but will refrain from ‘liking’/’commenting’; I will be a silent reader for awhile. I so admire you for your daily words and photos; whenever I need a bit of soul-sustenance, I know I only have to click-click to be in your world of birds and compost and bicycles and scones and Mrs Tootlepedal and friends. A very happy Christmas to you and yours and I will ‘see’ you in the new year. Julie x

  16. Vicki says:

    As I’ve previously written to you, hope you have a Wonderful Christmas and Ants is well enough to enjoy it.
    Life is unpredictable, so we must ‘make hay while the sun shines’
    Vicki
    xx

  17. ingridrick says:

    Beautiful photo of you all Julie. I have to say none of us ever know when will be our last Christmas, birthday or any day for that matter – not one of us. And you have the good fortune to have heightened awareness and make every day, every hour and every minute count. The good thing about that is you won’t look back and say I shoulda , woulda, coulda because you are doing all (the best you can) now.

    Another thing is that Anthony would not want you to be unhappy – that is the last thing he would want and if he could make it better he would. Anyway end of sermon … a very happy Christmas to you, Meg and Ming and all your family and many blessings for the new year … maybe 2016 we will catch up at least for a coffee.
    love
    Ingrid

  18. You take time and relax and enjoy this wonderful time of year, the Christmas pillow case left out for Santa is what I grew up with and what I did for my girls and now we do it for Leo, not sure about Blain this will be the first year he will be here for Christmas Eve, unless things change and he goes to his dad’s

  19. Lynda says:

    Love the photo of you and the rest of the girls. You are all so beautiful!

    Doctors don’t know everything. Bob’s mother far outlasted her “use-by date”. I think it has to do with the love and care they receive from those closest to them that keeps them going, and a bit more with their attitude about life. Both Anthony and Bob’s mother were very active and real go-getters. They lead wonderful lives and worked hard all the time and I think that’s why they keep going past the use-by dates the Doctors give.

    Love you, Julie!

    • jmgoyder says:

      Love you too and am gonna rely on FB for time being. I seem to have lost the plot a bit with blogging, Lynda. Sorry xxx

      • Lynda says:

        I understand. There is so much going on in your life; mine too really. You have nothing to be sorry about.For the time being, the FB will work for the short info posts for us both. 🙂

  20. Rhonda says:

    May this be the best Christmas ever my friend, because none of us are guaranteed another. I send you, Anthony, Ming, and the beautiful Meg, so much love and prayers for you all to feel the happiness and joy in just being together. Love yourself for me, and smile every chance you get. You are beautiful when you smile. All my love, Merry Christmas, and I’ll see ya when you get back. xxxxxx

  21. Sending love. Also sending a friend request from Flora Gardener if I can find you on Facebook.

  22. Last Christmas was our last with my Mum and we knew that so it was bittersweet.
    Yet we had a great time and now fond memories.
    Your planned Christmas events seem wonderful. Enjoy and see you when you return in the New Year.

  23. paulaacton says:

    No one is promised a tomorrow, the only thing we can do is make the most of every moment we have, both in our own lives and in our interactions with others, Christmas is a time to be with families, other than instagram the majority of my posts that go up over Christmas are scheduled in advance lol, so please do not feel guilty about being away from the computer, that is the way it should be, go have a wonderful Christmas with your family, we shall all be back here in the New Year bemoaning the amount of food consumed, pounds gained and diets and resolutions begun and broken lol, sending love and hugs from my family to yours from across the planet xxx

    • jmgoyder says:

      Oh Paula – I adore you and love your vlogs and feel bad sometimes for not commenting but I am probably subscribed to too many blogs and can’t keep up! Silly me. I think the blog break will be good for me as I am on the computer too much! Happy Christmas to you and all of your family. Julie x

  24. Trisha says:

    I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas together. Enjoy those moments of happiness. You’re allowed and you deserve them!

  25. Have a wonderful Christmas. Julie. xx

  26. lensgirl53 says:

    Please have a most memorable and wonderful Christmas…but most of all…meaningful. Blessings to you and yours. Hugs…Dale, Brandon’s Mom

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