It’s been an interesting year for me in relation to my family. Following the death of the paedophile in my family, I’ve felt able to talk about the ordeal safe in the knowledge that he really can’t touch me any more.
My live in carer (occasionally my mother) is bemused. In her words, “water under the bridge” as he’s dead. This bemuses me, as she still talks about her mother leaving the family home when my mother was six.
The most recent example of this was October. My friend in Lincoln is house bound by an anxiety disorder, and I’m making sure she has someone at Christmas. I told my live in carer this, and she said: “Your father always made sure I had someone at Christmas, as my Mom wasn’t there when I was young.”
My father has been dead since 2010, and while I physically resemble him, our lives are our own. Whatever he chose to do with his life died with him.
My Nan has been dead since 2002. I think that’s a pretty good reason not to come to Christmas dinner.
You’ll note that “water under the bridge” was absent from this conversation, even though it mentioned two dead people.
Roll around December, and I’m concerned that my live in carer has done absolutely nothing to be with people at Christmas, to the extent that she asks what the suitcase is for. I speak to our neighbours to check in on her. Her lifelong friends come to the house, and she doesn’t ask them if they can pick her up and take her to dinner.
I make the decision to contact other family members, and they are happy to have her. It is fortunate timing, as they have just got their driver’s license back. My live in carer asks what I thought would happen if they didn’t have a driver’s license. I replied, get a taxi. She scoffed at the prices they charge at Christmas.
There was a tiny moment that I wished my family had phoned to say they couldn’t pick her up. She could have spent Christmas alone, having made no effort to be with people. She would have held onto the £50 cold, hard cash, instead of hugging people in warm kindness.
There’s a tale about holding onto money and not making the effort to be with people. We usually watch the Muppets’ version of A Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve.
Personally, I’m looking forward to spending Christmas that appreciate the effort I’m going to so they have someone. I endeavour to be grateful for everything in my life, and be a shining example to others.
Is your Christmas different this year? Are you spending it with people that are grateful for what you do?