Holiday Thoughts

Just today as I moved the gifts in my office, the poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas” jumped into my head. Like many things in my life these days it became intertwined with our daily activities and dealing with the changes and nuance of Parkinson’s disease.

'Twas the week before Christmas and throughout the condominium
Not a creature was stirring, wild life at a minimum;
The decorations were up all over the place,
In hopes that the holidays would settle to a more relaxed pace;

The children that lived here were in grandma's head;
And occasionally visions of others appeared instead;
So grandma in her sweats, settled for the night,
I chose to read and my imagination took flight.

On the back lawn it was quiet too,
The owl that hunted the woods didn’t say, "Who?"
Drawn to the window I pondered the sight,
For holiday lights had adjusted the view that night.

The moon is just past full at this time of year,
Still very bright, the sun no longer near
When what to my pondering eyes did I see,
A big buck deer, hunting for something to chew near the tree.

It was Fred, at least, I think it was him,
When they were just fawns, his sister Kim,
She left home early and went with another,  
Leaving the woods out back occupied by her brother.

I turned from the window and looked at the floor
And upon it my previous work there near the door.
Neatly wrapped and assembled together,
Each grand child’s gift, ready for taking wherever.

Our family, though growing, is not scattered,
But the children are older and their commitments matter
So as gathering together becomes of less import, 
Grandpa’s plan for delivery has become more of a sport. 

But soon to the plan he must commit,
You see Grandma is less than fit.
Her safety and comfort is his main concern
Medication, food and timing often are hard to discern.  

Cookies and baking were her wish for today.
Butter cookies, sugar cookies and spritzes fit for a gourmet.
Mixing dough and decorating the cookies are sure
To bring smiles and giggles from even the most mature.

Grandpa’s only plan was to organize the trip
And she recruits him to help with cookies about which he knows zip.
He smiles and shakes his head and says yes
To help with an activity which causes him much stress.

Two cooks in the kitchen he knows is one more
Than the activity in the room calls for.
As best as he can,  Grandpa puts his ego away
This is a chance to make new memories this day.

The baking for today is complete and he utters a sigh.
They got through it without him turning bad guy.
The experience he thinks as he ponders the floor
Was memorable, lovable and very much less than a bore.

The evening is later now but before he returns to his book
He closes his eyes to give the day one more look.
Some days are good, some days are bad,
Important to remember, the good times that we’ve had.

This disease of Parkinson can spoil the day
But only if one lets it get in the way.
So on this holiday, this Holy Day, this cold winter’s night
Merry Christmas to all!  Take time to notice the moonlight.

Carpe Diem.