As Andy Williams sang… “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” You know what? It really is!
I realized this morning just how much I’ve missed over the past ten years, living in Northern Ca. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a catch-22. In a way, I wouldn’t trade the experiences and friends we’ve made in Northern Ca. for anything in the world. On the other hand, this was the first Christmas in 10 years that I’ve been able to spend with our kids! It’s also the first Christmas in 10 years that I haven’t worked! Let me tell you, I’ve loved every minute of the past 24 hours! Let me recap…
You know how our life has been… go, go, go! Between work and Patty’s “Adventures in Chemo” and just life in general, (plus the main fact that I’m a guy!) I hadn’t had much time to Christmas shop for Patty! So I got up early yesterday morning and blasted over to North County Fair, the closest shopping mall to our house. They opened early on Christmas Eve so I was on their doorstep at 7 a.m. when they opened. I discovered this was the perfect time to Christmas shop! There was me and probably 20 other “last minute husbands” with a whole shopping mall to ourselves! Fortunately, I already knew what I wanted to get, so I was in and out, with bags in hand, within a half hour! (I may just consider shopping like this every year! Too easy!) The next stop was at the grocery store to pick up things for our Christmas dinner with the kids. I was at Ralphs by 7:45 a.m. armed with my shopping list that Patty wrote for me. I could have been in-and-out within 20 minutes, but after 16 years of marriage to Patty, I still have a real difficult time reading her handwriting! I was home by 8:30 a.m., still not bad.
The plan for Christmas Eve was dinner in our little condo with the kids… Kristi and Ryan, Nic and Joey, Steven and his girlfriend, Acacia. I had picked up a 9 pound prime rib earlier in the week and we were having that with scalloped potatoes and some kind of vegetable. I spent the day, not just cleaning and prepping dinner, but trying to keep Patty under check so she wouldn’t do too much and be tired when everyone got here at 6:30 p.m. The day went smooth. I was able to convince Patty to take a nap around 2:30 p.m. She took a good two hour nap!!!
By the way, Patty is doing just great! Her “taster” is starting to come back. She’s feeling physically stronger, but still get’s tired easily. Overall, we’re close to two weeks since her last infusion and I couldn’t be happier with how she’s progressing. I’d guess she’s at about 75% – 80% right now. Another week and she’ll be around 90%. By mid January, she should be well on her way back to being her-old-self! (I probably shouldn’t use the word “old” in that description!)
Our little condo looked great… Christmas tree lit… lights up and lit on the deck and mantle… Christmas CD’s playing… the condo had the aroma of prime rib in the oven… I had a cocktail in hand… life is good!
The kids showed up around 6:30 p.m. I couldn’t have felt closer to my family once there all arrived! We all laughed and joked. Once dinner was served and we all sat at the table, I looked around at each and every one and just couldn’t have been prouder! We have such a great family! We finished dinner and played a game called “Apples to Apples.” It was a lot of fun. Patty begrudgingly hit the wall a little after 10 p.m. and went to bed. The rest of us continued to play the game until around midnight. Wow, midnight! I normally have a good three hours of sleep under my belt when midnight hits!
Patty and I woke up around 8 this morning. We stayed in bed for a while and had our morning coffee. We got up around 9 and exchanged presents… just the two of us. I looked at Patty at one point (she didn’t catch me)… I just thought to myself how in love I am with her! We’ve been through so much these past 9 months and here we are… together… celebrating Christmas. Patty (we) are so fortunate to have discovered this disease early on. There are too many women who aren’t that fortunate. But, Patty is alive and well! We have so much to look forward to! We have such a great family! There is no drama and we all get along so well!
The past 24 hours have been awesome! “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”