On being a weepy mess...
I don't know what it is about the holidays that can hit me with the melancholy blues to the extent that sometimes I feel like I have been hit by a bus, but it has been particularly bad this year.
My mother hypothesizes that my occasional "blue Christmas" is brought about by the memory of the fact that, when my parents divorced when I was very, very young, that my father left the house on Christmas Day. I have no conscious memory of his absence being associated with Christmas, but our subconscious can be a powerful thing.
There are some difficult things swirling around me, and I have had the thought, more than once in the past few weeks, of how this has been a year of "last times."
We have had to put my grandmother in a nursing center, and I have had to be involved (somewhat against my better judgment) in having her declared incompetent. There isn't a doubt in my mind that she is non compos mentis - she nearly set her house on fire and had begun hitchhiking - but it is painful to be at the center of a legal declaration of such.
Add in the fact that I rushed my uncle to the ER last Friday morning, where he was woefully and horribly mis-diagnosed (note to any doctor type folks who might be reading this - just because a man whose body has been ravaged by 5 years of chemotherapy and has enough drugs running through his system to kill a horse SAYS he doesn't think he's been given an antibiotic in the last week, if he says he feels like his ankles are broken - LOOK AT HIS DAMN CHART. And if your hospital GAVE HIM AN ANTIBIOTIC following an outpatient procedure FIVE DAYS EARLIER, and that antibiotic has a known, but unusual side effect of snapping Achilles' tendons - RUN A DAMNED MRI. Do not unhappily tell his niece that running a scan would be a "waste of time". Because his tendons MIGHT, in FACT be torn. And when it takes FOUR DAYS to convince someone else to run the damn scan, IT MIGHT BE TOO LATE TO ACTUALLY HEAL them) (um...I might be really, really, really upset about this) - my point is, it has not been a good situation with my uncle J~ this week. (And if you're just tuning in, J~ is my uncle, my boss and my mentor, so his illness hits me hard on every front. And it hits me even harder knowing he is hurting now from something that could have been made better if the egomaniacal and dismissive ER doctor last week had set aside her presumptions and her ego and looked at his medical history for 30 damn seconds.)
Moving on...my cat is dying. He is 17 years old but it doesn't make it easy to look into his sweet old face and know that is the last Christmas tree he will nap under.
And finally...my brother did a very sweet thing. He did such a sweet and thoughtful thing but the thing that he did has reduced me to a weepy, bawling mess.
My brother has a degree in broadcasting. He is very talented with sound systems. And somewhere, somehow, he found a tape of our grandfather singing and talking. And he superimposed the singing and the talking over photos of my grandpa and our family. And it's a beautiful video - absolutely gorgeous. Probably not to anyone who didn't know the man - but to me...well, I haven't cried so hard in a very long time.
My grandfather has been gone eight Christmases now. Eight years since I had heard his voice, more than eight years since I had heard him sing, because, at the end, the chemo did something to his vocal chords, and he couldn't sing. So to find myself hearing him singing today (and not just singing - the tape starts out, "This is Grandpa, and I want you to sing a song with me" - so it was like he was talking to ME (well, to any one of the sixteen of us to whom he was Grandpa) - well, it was precisely the trigger, on top of the above mentioned things - to create the weepy mess I am while typing this.
December 26th was my Grandparent's wedding anniversary. I always, always, always, spent the week of December 26 to New Year's with them. My memories of Christmas are so wrapped up with memories of my Grandfather singing to us...it's hard. I've got some deep and lowdown Boxing Day Blues.
I hope tomorrow will be a better day.