It took every ounce of energy I had to keep my eyes open. Sometimes I failed, and was out for several minutes before someone woke me up — somehow it was my turn to open another gift. Speaking was out of the question, not only was that too costly, energy-wise, but it defied gravity by expelling air upward, and I was doing everything I could to fight peristaltism.
When Mum was about nine years old, she got the mumps for Christmas. She was miserable. She moved from her bed to the couch to be with the family, but was too sick to care about anything, least of all her presents. Every time she told me this story I thought she was certainly exagerating — how could a child be possibly sick enough to not care for her presents?
I had never been sick on Christmas, but yesterday morning when Red came into our room and said, “I threw up in my bed,” my first thought was, “well that explains why I haven’t felt well the past couple of hours!”
We moved downstairs for the requisite festivities. Red rallied a few times over his presents, I, in the end, had Paul open my gifts. We sent Paul and Blue to church and we missed the baptism I’d been so eagerly anticipating. (They came home with reports that several other people were conspicuously absent from church, confirming that we’re sharing these germs with several of friends.) Then we sent Paul and Blue up to Paul’s brother’s house for the rest of the day. They feasted and celebrated while Red and I slept, watched movies, and did the opposite of feasting.
Yet it didn’t feel like the worst Christmas ever. I enjoyed just being with my little guy, although it broke my heart to see him run to the bathroom every half an hour, whimpering. Getting him more water took all the energy I had and required me to nap after I returned to my corner on the couch, but being able to sleep as soon as I closed my eyes, and whenever I closed my eyes was downright luxurious. I don’t remember the last time I’d done that! (Maybe drugged up in the hospital after Red’s birth?)
Everyone has to get sick sometime, and it was our turn. We’ve been blessed to never be sick on Christmas before. We learned that it’s not the end of the world. So we missed out on a fun family dinner, so what? There will be more.
A happy Christmas to you all. Be ye healthy or not, I hope you can appreciate the beauty of the season, and the peace of Christ.
(summary of the homemade parts of Christmas to be posted later)