Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese. It is the 25th day of this mind-bending challenge, and I can say that my mind is both challenged and slightly off kilter. Today's prompt is Worst Christmas Ever. Check out the Linky at WWFC to see who is still standing.
For most people Christmas is a happy time, filled with family, friends, big dinners and gifts. Houses are decorated with lights of all colors, lawns filled with lighted reindeer, inflatable Santas and snowmen. Holiday music begins and stores display large festive trees long before the Thanksgiving feast is prepared.
This is what we know, what we expect, and what fills us with the Spirit of Christmas. However, sometimes things happen in life that changes that feeling. Events beyond our control take over our thoughts, control our actions, diminish our joy and leave us feeling sad and blue.
That was the case in 2002. Christmas was just weeks away when we discovered that my Mom had an electrolyte imbalance and had the option of drinking about a gallon of Gatorade or going into the hospital for a few days to get her sodium and potassium levels back on track. We chose the hospital...there was no way she could drink that much Gatorade.
This was temporary and she would be home in a couple days. OK we can fix this. I arrange for ambulance transport because it would be the easiest and safest way to get her there.
We got her sodium and potassium back in line, but then there were more problems and by the time she'd been in for a week, she'd lost too much strength to go home alone.
At that point I faced what had been, thus far, the worst day of my life - the day I put my mother into a nursing home.
This was the middle of December and I visited her every day. While we knew she had some issues, we still felt that after some physical therapy she could return home. That wasn't to be. On the night before Christmas she had taken a downward turn.
Two days after Christmas on December 27, she passed away when we had stepped out for a few minutes to get lunch.
We all know that death is a part of life, but to have to face it over what is supposed to be a joyous, happy season is even more difficult. Not once but twice have we faced the loss of a loved one at Christmas. We lost my father-in-law just this past year several days before Christmas after two separate stays in the hospital. Like my Mom, we thought that he too would recover and go home. It wasn't to be in either case, so we each have a worst Christmas ever.