Tuesday, 27 December 2011

What I got for Christmas

Christmas 2011 has come and gone and what did I get for Xmas? A friend of ours in Italy when asked today told us, I got to spend Christmas with my family. For him this was the best gift because he thought of all those people who have no family or are estranged from their families. We all have parents, this is true of all people including orphans, this is where we came from and then with them came our family for better or for worse. Some have large extended families others have small contained families, others still have maybe one parent and maybe a few relatives. So at Christmas time it is good to be able to spend some time with our family. In our case ( W and I) as was the case today, we have our family, we visited in Montreal. Then we have another family which are old friends, who through all these years have been with us. In Ottawa our old friends have been with us since W and I came to this City in 1976, so many memories with them and we have all grown old together. We had a Christmas pot luck luncheon with them today with a toast to their health and a few words to tell them how much we care for them. It was a real pleasure to see them all again after 7 Christmases abroad.

On Christmas Eve and Christmas day we were in Montreal, to be with my mother who is gravely ill and my father who is in relatively good health depending on the day or the weather. Both are elderly and who knows how much longer they will be with us. For my mother who is suffering from Alzheimer and is in the final stages, it is always a pleasure to get a smile, a fleeting recognition if only for an instant from her, a squeeze of the hand. We had Christmas lunch with her and it was beautiful, beautiful flowers, music, good food and the company of relatives and siblings. My cousin L. did a lot of the cooking, turkey breast and a sugared ham, tourtiere and ragout de boulettes, salads and small tarts of creamed sugar. My father also worked at organizing this get together in the fashion he wanted with the help of my brother who came to spend 2 weeks with him. Trying to recreate a normalcy which given my mother's health and that she is confined to a care facility, though a nice and quiet place, is far from normal but it is our normal now.

Today W mentioned that he wanted to visit his brother who lives in Atlantic Canada more than one thousand kilometres away. To get there we need to take a ferry to the island and this depends on the weather and the ferry schedule. I hope we go, we would take our Nicky and Nora with us. It would be quite the adventure, considering that by plane it is a 2 hour flight, we plan to drive for this family visit. Canada is a big place.

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