As each year passes it just becomes more apparent...the older you are, the faster it goes. Like someone hit the fast forward button around my late 20s and Life hasn't slowed. A bit. When I was a kid, things seemed to move at a crawl. Especially Christmas. December was interminably long in those days. I would get little sleep on the Eve. Now, I look up and it's the 26th. And I slept till almost 9 on Christmas Morn.
This year's holiday time was quite nice. As before, my wife and I made the rounds of visiting parents and assorted relatives, but this year there were more little ones to watch tearing into presents. My wife's step-father had a long time coming reconciliation with his elder son this year, an answer to many's prayers. The son's 2 kids joined the annual Eve at my MIL's, and it was fun, aside from the in-the-family-for-generations Christmas dish that shattered as the children ran wild.
Also: my step-father-in-law's other son's daughter - the one I've mentioned was a bit of a brat on Christmas Eve in earlier posts - is growing into a polite little girl.
We again drove to Miami to see my FIL and his longtime girlfriend. They had a beautiful 10 foot X-mas tree on their patio and we sat near it for an excellent paella dinner. The temps were in the low to mid 60s. It was perfect. Less so was Christmas day weather, the typical 80 degree humid fest, but that's Florida for ya. On that day we also saw my mother, still in the rehab and still not getting out of bed. I don't know what else to write about this situation.
Instead of bringing my grandmother to see my mother per usual, my wife and I drove to a different facility, where my grandmother herself is a patient. On Thanksgiving morning, she fell again, pretty much clinching a long simmering decision of mine to keep her in a "home." I've been putting it off for years now, nagged by conscience and fears for her safety. She turned 99 this past October. For her age, she does remarkably well. But this year I had to take over her bookkeeping. She also began to fight a bit with her aides. I started receiving calls from Senior Services, rightfully concerned for her well being and safety. After an unannounced visit, they complained of a dirty spot on her carpeting (they were very thorough).
She had fallen a few times in the past 12 years and each time came out with little worse than a bruise. But this was it. She just can't be on her own, not even for a few seconds. Since she's been at the rehab, a weight has been lifted. As expected, she is quite upset, missing her apartment, but also resigned to undeniable realities. Even though she is now surrounded by staff and other residents, she still complains of loneliness, something she struggled with all those years in her place. It has been by far her biggest complaint.
2012 was otherwise a fairly quiet year. We did move again, from the 4th floor down to the first for reasons you can read about in an earlier entry. At first, I had little love for our new place. The combination of no carpets and vertical blinds made the place feel cheap and unhomy, but I've learned to appreciate its abundant brightness and reversed floorplan, which is more practical. I want to rip those blinds out but who knows how long we'll be there? I could be composing this entry from New York or Chicago next year. Very uncertain.
Yes, we still hope to flee South Florida in the near future. The developments with my grandmother have gotten us a bit closer to such a step, but it is still a mystery as to when it will finally happen. There are lots of things that have to fall into place. I still wish that I can take my job with me as it remains a fabulous place to work. My wife is still trying to decide her next vocational step, and where.
But there it goes...2012. Another year filled with triumph and tragedy the world over. The Mayans, or at least those who interpreted them, were wrong. How was your year?