Well, I love Christmas, for one.
And two, my ex-husband’s father has been diagnosed with a Parkinson’s like disease. While his symptoms are mild right now, the family is a bit shell-shocked.
Imagine: Being diagnosed with a chronic, progressive, debilitating disease. No cure, only treatments that *might* help. The prospect of ending up in a wheelchair.
They are all horrified.
Now, not to quibble, but I was diagnosed five years ago with a progressive, chronic, debilitating, painful disease…but I’m NOT playing ‘my disease is worse than your disease’.
I have had enough people try to play that game with me.
It’s not relevant. It’s abhorrent. It’s unbelievable selfish.
It’s about empathy. And how few people really have it. How few people are really capable of putting themselves in other people’s shoes.
How quick people are to accept, that regardless of information to the contrary (an RA diagnosis, a person on chemotherapy, a walking stick, a quiet admission of how much it hurts) that someone is fine if they are smiling.
Because it is far easier to stop at the smile than it is to understand what might behind it.
So why am I doing lunch? Why, when I have hands that hurt so very badly, so that I can barely grip a vegetable peeler? When I can barely lift the 3.5 kilo turkey? When there is no way I can put together a feast for 12 in one day. When it takes several days of planning and pacing myself?
Because I have empathy. I understand the shell-shock. I understand the fear. I understand that my ex-husband’s mother does not want to cope with Christmas this year. That she needs a break.
My ex-husband’s father is very sanguine. Actually he is being well looked after. He is not in pain, and he is unaware of many of his symptoms. And he is 78…as he says, this disease usually takes many years to progress, and something else will likely get him first!
His sense of humour is intact. He will do OK.
I guess my empathy came out first…and I offered to host Christmas lunch at my house before I really thought it through. I do that all the time. I guess even *I* forget that I’m not the person I once was… But I also know I can do it. I will find a way. It is my Christmas gift to the family.
I have my chemo drugs, my corticosteroids, my nsaids and my narcotic pain relief. And possibly most importantly of all, I have my positive attitude. And I will get the job done!
I am looking forward to going all out and making it beautiful! It will be a lovely day. And I am sure that my exes family will enjoy it, and they will all appreciate it. Some things don’t have to be said, right?
And I love Christmas!