When everybody's more relaxed and enjoying themselves, life can be good!
I come here and post when I am upset, frustrated and scared. Thought I would come today on Christmas Eve and post about some nice times... My daughter and I brought all our Christmas gifts over to the rehab where my mom has been for the last three months, recovering from a broken hip followed by extended pneumonia and c-diff infections. She is progressing well at an age-appropriate pace (94, and slowly); she is still in a wheelchair but much more healthy and alert now.
My daughter and I love to give, receive and open presents. It has been nice these past three years to share that with my mom. She always complains at first that, "there are too many!" and always noting, "I am a child of the Depression!"... Then she mellows out and enjoys it.
It was absolutely lovely to see everyone relaxing and getting along for a few hours to celebrate this wonderful holiday of goodwill and good cheer. In my childhood it certainly wasn't like that -- my mom was maximally stressed out and cranky from making the "Perfect, Huge Holiday Meal," and my dad always ended the night by screaming at someone who then left in a huge huff and a big, loud drama.
Wonderful to see that at least three of us have lived long enough to outgrew these patterns enough to enjoy one year with no stress. I relaxed and didn't try to make things perfect. If my daughter wanted to do so, I let her and didn't argue. I managed not to argue with anyone or anything for the whole afternoon!
It was especially wonderful to see my daughter getting along with my mom. I had a vision of intergenerational togetherness that hasn't really been happening in the 2.5 years my mom has been living with me, and my daughter, 21, close by. They were never close, because (IMO) my mom was too bossy and my daughter didn't enjoy it.
Now that she's spent more time with my mom, who's been so ill she became incapable of bossing and controlling (ha ha), my daughter has been given the chance to grow a little more into nurturing. She's also been seeing my mom's good points -- as ill as she was, my mom has fought her way back to better health. She is a real trooper, despite her sometimes complaining. At times, she has a great sense of humor, making the aides and nurses at the rehab laugh. She also loves her granddaughter very much, and has become a bit better at expressing that in ways that my daughter can hear. (My mom used to mainly say things like, "You're a beautiful girl!..... Watch out! Men will take advantage of you! LIfe isn't easy for beautiful girls..." Not exactly a heartwarming comment...)
Each generation has its own weird ideas, mine included I'm sure. But I am soooo grateful for my mom's better health, that she is being basically well taken care of in a well-rated facility, and for these many minutes this Christmas Eve which added up to an ENTIRE afternoon of loving kindness to each other.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all, with warmest wishes to you and your families.