Mom is debating whether or not to send out Christmas cards before she heads into surgery next week. Last year, with Dad being so ill and then dying right before Christmas, we understandably skipped the cards and celebrations. This year, Mom has a darn good reason to skip the cards again.
It’s a bit awkward to write Christmas cards when you are ill or are caring for a loved one who is ill. There are so many dark days and painful memories better left unmentioned in a card that is supposed to be full of happy greetings. My mom can’t exactly say, “Just wanted to get this Christmas card to you in case I die during surgery!”
I remember coming across several unmailed Christmas cards that Dad meant to send to his family overseas. There were some from the year when he would have been in the early stages of dementia. Everything was addressed correctly, he just put them in his nightstand drawer and forgot to mail them. By the next year, he had moved into the mid-stages of Alzheimer’s. The addresses were a mess. He put his own address label in the “to” field. On one envelope he wrote the same address in the “to” and “from” fields.
It was yet another sad sign of my father’s mind crumbling away, even as the holiday cheer carried on all around him.