PlazaJen: Passion Knit

Monday, December 24, 2007

'Tis The Season....Hack Hack Hack

Well, in a preemptive strike maneuver, I went to my doctor today & am now on a 10-day antibiotic regimen, to knock whatever thinks it might be taking up residency in my lungs. It's a delightful, wheezy hacking cough, one that caused such levels of consternation from James' grandfather that I finally asked him if he was preparing to perform last rites on me, I only had been sick less than two days at that point! The big comedy moment came when he emerged with a bottle of generic mucinex, which happened to be exactly the same formula as the generic mucinex I was taking. I sprung for the uber-pricey, name-brand stuff yesterday, because they make it in an extended-relief that spans 12 hours, vs. the 4 hours of relief from the generics. So far, it's living up to its promise - I still cough and whatnot, but not as violently. Sadly, I'm waking myself up coughing, which has been a nice flashback to the beginning of the year, when the ace-inhibitor allergy lasted 3 months. In any event, my goal is to avoid bronchitis/walking pneumonia, and to salvage as much of my vacation as I can - after all, I want to enjoy the time off, not spend it hacking up a lung.

Well! Doesn't this just make me an old gal, talking for an entire paragraph about health issues. Might just need to rename this blog The Bursitis Times. But I've been in such a stupor, not much else is going on right now. We're going to have Christmas, Part II, tomorrow, and then it's Boxing Day (Yay! It's so much easier to call it that!) and all the fun shopping that goes along with it. I did finish my Army Girl Duet Yarn toe-up socks, and I'll get pictures tomorrow. I also picked up the Chevron Scarf (half done) and got a few rows worked there - I'm all about getting some of these WIP's finished, so I also need to haul out the Rambling Rows afghan & pop a couple movies into the DVR. We watched the latest Harry Potter tonight, the Simpsons Movie a few nights ago, and SuperBad awaits us tomorrow. I've got Capote on the DVR, too. So far, nothing's blowing me away - HP and Simpsons were enjoyable, but not enough to leave me raving about 'em.

I was reflecting on the Christmas Eves of my youth (see, old lady chat again...) and recalling the excitement and anticipation, the unknowns and surprises - seeing what my parents got each other in addition to what I got from them. I remembered a last-minute shopping trip with my dad (which was every year), but this one in particular stands out. We went into a bookstore. He had already selected a stack of books, and wide-eyed, I asked him if he was going to buy ALL those books. He replied he was, and at that point, we were in the cartoon section - he started pulling books off the shelf onto the floor. He told me if I picked them up, he'd buy those, too. I remember being caught up in the excitement, it felt sort of crazy-reckless, my father was just going willy-nilly with shopping. Years later, when I looked back on it, I always felt kind of weird, like somehow it was strange, the only word I could find was demeaning, to have me scramble behind him, picking up books. (I didn't feel weird at the time, I was ecstatic to be getting all these books!) Now, I sort of see it differently. He would fall into a dark, deep depression before Christmas, because his mother's death was around the holidays. We alternated years for decorating the house, and I remember the days leading up to Christmas Eve as taught, wary, even fearful, and mostly seeing my father's back as he buried himself in work to get through the days.

What I picked up on in that bookstore was the pain. The pain of missing someone so much that no amount of presents, or books, or even the family in front of you can erase. The sort of pain that makes you callous to the smaller things when it's looming in your heart. The bitter, tinny voice in your head that says, "Sure, fucking buy every book in the store and it still won't silence me." This has been a rough December for me, much harder than last year, and I miss him enormously. In some ways my memories of him at this time have become mirrors, and I see myself reflected in them. In some ways I am closer to him now, understanding him, because it is an experience we now share. I don't want to be him, I surely surely don't, angry and sarcastic and bristling at every edge and corner, ready to explode. Of course I read those words and know every one of them describe me at points in all of this. Perhaps it is in the total consuming, the way pain and grief swallowed him up and took him from us for weeks, that we can be different. I'm having a blue Christmas, I'm sick on top of it all, and I'm ready to feel better and to smile. So, lest you think I'm not counting my blessings in all of this: I have family and friends who love me, and I love them. I have a wonderful husband, three awesome dogs, a warm, safe place to live, and more yarn than I can knit. I will have laughter and fun during this vacation. But I miss him. And I always will. It's a challenge sometimes to figure out where to put that, in my heart, so it's not always knocking me in the forehead or tripping my feet. I just miss him.


posted by PlazaJen, 8:56 PM