December has been a strange month.
It started off quietly; we had intentionally kept the first few weekends free, in order to fetch a Christmas tree, decorate the house, and generally just recover from November’s madness. Then it sped up — visiting friends, friends visiting, whilst desperately trying to get all of my Not On The High Street orders out, so they’d arrive with the customer on time.
Christmas is an odd time of year. I love the build up but, equally, it feels ridiculous that so many people put so much onus on one day. Shoppers careering around the supermarkets and high streets as though their lives depended on it.
As though the end of the world was nigh and it was their final opportunity to buy anything.
Particularly as the shops are only closed for one day; opening again on Boxing day to swarms of people, coming out in force for the sales. Crazy.
The boys settled in at their nursery. Crying for the first couple of sessions when we left them, then again when I collected them. But full of smiles and enthusiasm at the last few sessions. No tears. Squealing with excitement when I arrived to collect them ‘MUMMEEEEEEEEEEEE!’ — just gorgeous — the best sound in the world.
Christmas began well. We spent the eve through to Boxing Day lunch at my inlaws, travelling back in the afternoon, hitting swirling blizzards as we entered our county. It was the boys’ first sight of snow and they were fascinated by it. Sadly (or not) it didn’t settle for very long. A good thing too really as my immediate family was coming to celebrate Christmas with us the next day — the 27th.
Until my daddy was rushed to hospital.
Such a shock — bleeding internally — being whisked away in an ambulance on Boxing Day night.
X-Rays, CAT scans, blood-tests, then finally — as they couldn’t determine the cause of the bleeding — an emergency operation on Saturday. Four hours under the knife whilst my mother, sister, husband and I ate our evening meal in near silence; each wondering what the outcome was going to be.
Thankfully the Christmas angels were smiling on him and he has made a good recovery. Incredible — given the fact that he was on life support for 16 hours following the op and has spent the last 3 days in intensive care.
I feel so incredibly grateful to our wonderful NHS. Immensely thankful to the selfless humans that gave up their own Christmas celebrations to care for my father.
So whilst this month’s Me and Mine post is still full of good cheer and excitement for the year ahead, it is also reflective and lot more sombre than I’d anticipated.
Seeing my daddy lying in a hospital bed, having had a very, very lucky escape has given me a different perspective. Given me a sense of my own mortality and also made me aware that the next time he may not be so lucky.
My boy and I are fortunate enough to have both of our parents still, when so many of our friends have already had to say goodbye to one — or both.
In my teens and 20s, I never gave it a second thought but now, particularly when I look at my own beautiful family — my three amazing boys — I feel so blessed. So incredibly lucky that we all have each other.
And our health.
So good health to you and yours for the coming year; may it bring you happiness and prosperity, from me and mine xx