My Final Christmas With You

Lately I’ve been thinking about the last Christmas I spent at home with Grandma.  It was two years ago, and it was an extraordinary good and memorable one.

Since moving away to Florida, I always took a full week off to fly home for Christmas every year.  But for that final Christmas two years ago, I decided to take it a step further and took a full TWO weeks off to go home for Christmas.  Grandma worried that I would get bored sitting at home for so long, but I enjoyed every single minute of it.

In addition to having me home for two weeks, Grandma also had my brother there as well as my cousin Rachel and her husband who flew up from Texas to stay at our house for a week.  So Grandma had a FULL house of grandkids and other family that Christmas.  It’s not very often at all that the entire family is able to come together all at once from all the different states they live in.

The entire group of cousins, ranging 30 years apart in age, gathered together on the basement staircase

I spent those lovely two weeks helping Grandma put up all of her Christmas decorations (of which there were A LOT!!!!!!), baking Christmas cookies with her, engorging myself on Grandma’s delicious cooking, obsessively playing Live Monopoly on my brother’s PS4 system for hours at at time, and–of course–doing my usual favorite activity that I did at home for many years:  Sitting in the living room recliner chair in my “comfy clothes” watching TV with a beverage in my hand and doing absolutely nothing.  I used to joke on Facebook every year prior to flying home for Christmas that the very first thing I planned to do when I arrived home was to get changed into my yoga pants and T-shirt, pour myself a soda, and sit down in my recliner chair in front of the TV within five minutes of walking through the door.  And I always did!!  My friends would always ask me what I planned to do during my time off while at home for Christmas, and I would always answer, “NOTHING!!  I’m not going to do a damned thing, and I’m going to enjoy every minute of it!!”  I never required much entertainment while at home.  As long as I was in the company of my family and my cats in our comforting and beloved family home, I was perfectly content.

At the time, I had no clue that that would be the last Christmas I would ever spend at my home with Grandma.  But looking back on it, I marvel at how that final Christmas was extra special for her.  She had her entire brood of grandkids all under one roof for the holidays, and she got to spend a whole two weeks with me.  I even arranged for her to take some family group photos of me, my brother, and my father, which we had not done in many years since we were kids.  I look back on the final Christmas and it makes me glad that her last Christmas on earth was an extra special one for her and all of us.  I will always look back on that particular Christmas very fondly, and I will never forget it.

Grandma took a family photo of me, my father, and my brother the day after Christmas.  (Looking at my face, you can definitely see that I inherited the majority of the Native American genes from our mother.)

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