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Christmas is my favorite time of year...

Kendle Starcher

Well, usually. But this year, even though my tree is just as loaded down and the presents are all wrapped with fun glittery paper, I can't seem to shake this fuzzy sadness that hangs just out of sight.

You see, my grandmother passed away on Dec 11 and we just had her funeral on the 20th. I watched my mom and her youngest sister care for my grandmother day in and day out for most of the last year. She's suffered dementia and my grandfather and other aunt and cousin all live in her house. Needless to say, it's a bit of a circus down there and not exactly the most ideal caring situation. In October she suffered a stroke but then fully rebounded. She spent a few weeks in a rehab facility getting stronger and eventually went home in early November. She was only home a week when she suffered another stroke. This would be the beginning of the end. She was unable to talk or feed herself or really do anything other than just lie in the hospital bed. Again, my mom and her youngest sister never left her side and took care of everything. She was moved to hospice and only survived a few more days.

While her being sick and the end being fairly obvious that it was coming gave my mom, her sister, myself and the rest of our family a chance to say goodbye, it was also very painful. It was like having a giant wax strip on your arm and just very slowly peeling it off. The pain is going to be the same either way, but you can rip it off in one fast motion and suffer all at once or slowly and have the sharpest of pain just never seem to cease. Plus it's the season. Christmas was her favorite and it's just not going to be the same. 

I wish everyone the Merriest of Christmases and while you're out running from house to house I hope you hug everyone just a little tighter this year. For me, but for you. Take in the bright lights and the heavy dinners and the messy decorations and just let it soak. Tomorrow always comes too soon.

Merry Christmas!