Bob's last Christmas: a holiday to remember Print
Grand Mom
Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010 -- 1:00 AM

grand mom

When I look at the pictures taken last year on Christmas Eve, they bring tears to my eyes and a smile on my lips.

Our family gathered as usual: eight of the 10 children and 12 grandchildren and great-grands who live in the area, not in Grandma’s house or Aunt Krissy’s, but at Countryside Nursing Home in Jefferson. Since Grandpa couldn’t join us, we joined him in the beautiful parlor with its huge fireplace and Christmas tree.

There the 23 of us gathered to serenade Grandpa and the other residents and staff with Christmas carols. We were hardly a professional chorus, but a few talented musicians among us pulled us through. As one daughter put it, “Dad loved it until somebody found his hearing aid.” (Actually, he got tired.)

During the three years that we watched Bob’s fabulous gifts fade, our family grew closer than ever. The two sons that still lived thousands of miles away continued to get home every two or three months to visit us.

When Bob passed away on March 20, I lost my love and soul mate of 62 years, but look at all of the support I had! The burdens of a big family suddenly became “the blessings of a big family.” What a great investment!

I’m still plugging along; God still has plans for me, I guess, so I can put up with the hearing loss, the arthritis pain, and the sore feet, and the memory failures, and the hours of dental work, and all of the “gifts” of aging, but I will admit to having a bit of a scare this week when chest pains and my daughter drove me to the local hospital. From there I was transported to a Madison hospital, where I had to go through a heart catheter. They opened up an artery that was 95 percent plugged by inserting two stents. That was on Monday. On Tuesday I still had chest pains, so they sent me back for another catheter! That one proved that the first one had worked okay, and somehow the pain left me. . . at last!

On Wednesday I returned home and went through all my phone messages. One was from the Catholic Herald reminding me to get my column in by Friday. That was a blessing. It reminded me that God still has work for me to do. Hooray!

I am so happy to have this opportunity to wish you all a very blessed Christmas, and a New Year full of family love.

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