December 24, 2016


Seldom does life match the plans we make. On Christmas Eve we joined our son Eric and his wife’s parents Tom and Susan Day and numerous family. Gary shook with chills, then ran a fever, lost mental contact and we took him to the emergency room. He has infection in his right leg again, and again, and still again. He was pronounced healed just last Monday. Today he has cellulitis. We don’t understand this recurring infection when he has been on antibiotics of various kinds for about nine months.


What a strange Christmas day. The White Christmas we so longed for came and came and came, bringing about a foot of snow. Naturally, no one wants to go out on Christmas morning, so it was hard to drive to the hospital. I slipped on the slick slush and fell down entering the hospital because they hadn’t spread salt yet.


Mindy and I took our Christmas gifts to Gary’s room to open them together. I was bemoaning my inability to find the boots I had received in the mail and put away somewhere safe until Christmas. I had forgotten I had slipped the box into a Christmas bag and set it under the tree. I was surprised when we found the boots among our gifts. I was actually the only one genuinely surprised this morning. Because we are adults, we kind of “order” what we want for Christmas day.


Gary’s temperature is lower, and he is alert and able to be himself as opposed to the “out of it” person we brought to the hospital.


I had planned to write an essay today about sushi and Tony’s sushi restaurant where we celebrated Eric’s birthday with his wife Becky and seven of eight kids plus a girlfriend by having sushi. Some had never tried it. Some wouldn’t try. The rest of us loved these morsels of deliciousness, some with raw fish, others with cooked.  Tony manufactured a sushi birthday cake with a mango rose on the top.


I have a refrigerator stocked with food for this holiday, but no desire to serve it when Gary’s in the hospital. Mindy made rich fudge. We took some to Gary’s room, but the nurses don’t want it.


This is not a sad story, however. Because we got Gary to the hospital very quickly, he will be healed quickly. Because I got the car stuck in the snow in the unplowed driveway when I had to drive home for some things, I got to feel very grateful to our neighbors who dug it out. Because the hospital was down to minimal operations so people could have Christmas, we were extremely grateful for those who were there to care for Gary. We thanked them profusely and wished them Merry Christmas. Because Gary is there and I am here, I miss our usual routine. That makes me thank God that he’ll soon be back home. Because we have children who love us, we have been kindly treated and given sweet attention. We appreciate more that which comes at a price. PMA

I told you that my favorite of the songs I have written with Michael Moody is probably “Seven Alleluias.” He steered me to a site where you can hear a soprano sing it.