At this point in the year from the first Christmas I remember I would have been over bubbling with excitement, I never quite grew out of that. You have probably noticed that sentence is written in the past tense, I no longer somehow feel that way, another casualty of my health. Christmas was a magic filled it started for me weeks before when I planned how the decorations would look and what I had to buy to add to our already over grown collection. Break the first point of anything and there is a cavern that is 100 times the width of the broken spot. The pain from the my MS and Fibro finally stole the joy of putting up Christmas decorations a few years ago, the planning was no longer needed and the start of the annual journey was broken. Bit by bit each little joy followed, the food, the present wrapping, oh the present wrapping, I so loved spending hours making each present a work of art on it’s own, where people didn’t just keep the gift in side, but took apart and saved all the decoration as well. No dexterity, no decoration and just wrapped in paper, they look kind of dull, sitting there under the tree reminding me daily of something I couldn’t do. Three Christmases of not even being able to eat destroyed my personal joy of the best food of the year, and when food became possible again I had lost the strength to stand for hours and day preparing it all. Without a job, well the joy of giving has also been stolen from me, I loved collecting up items I knew other would love. I collected all year, item by item building a selection of things I could really give from my heart to those that I love, but no money, no present, a cold fact of unemployment.
We all know that illness isn’t a game or something that we can switch on and off, but a condition of life that destroys by it’s very nature. But we don’t all think ahead and see that it is actually not the staying alive despite the pain, or the getting from one day to the next that actually matters to the person who is ill, it is the things that it steals along the way from our lives that is the true damage, the true pain to bare. It nibbles at everything, slowly reducing and slowly removing those things that where the milestones in our lives, the occasions and events that each year filled us with joy. As they vanish, so does part of ourselves, as life reduces itself to basics, just living becomes an event on it’s own.
For every thing that my health has destroyed I have worked on finding something that will fill that space, reduce the pain and the damage. This year well I can’t rebuild the Christmas I knew, that took nearly 50 years to build, but I can take away some of the pain that it has left behind. This Christmas well I decided would be about the feeling I still have and that MS can’t destroy, it’s about the loving everyone as much as I can, a gift that is from my heart in the truest meaning of those words. There isn’t any build up from months before, there isn’t any expense or cherries on the top, all I give is what I have to give and that is love. I may have lost the glitz and the glam, the sparkle and the excess, I may have lost the Christmas I knew, but I still haven’t lost Christmas, as Christmas is still in my heart.