An Hour on Christmas Day

My spouse remains awfully sick. Yesterday, Christmas Day, he woke late, so I thought perhaps it was a good sign that he slept well the night before. He got up, but needed help dressing.

He gave me that blank stare — that scary blank stare — indicating that his disease fogged his brain. He didn’t know what day it was.

I bucked up and didn’t cry. I just held him.

I helped him to dress then brought him downstairs to our kitchen.

His mother sat there watching, not knowing what was going on. She kept asking questions which I patiently answered, but did not have the answer we both wanted most — when will he get better.

I fed both of them and guided my spouse to the living room by the Christmas Tree. He just sat there. Mother-in-law burst out crying. Damn… last thing we needed.

I gave MIL her gifts, and after she opened them, I set her up with yet another sappy Christmas movie to watch in our basement.

I then sat with my spouse, holding his hand, brushing his hair, feeling his warmth, but resenting how his disease vacated him from reality.

Throughout the morning, I sat with my spouse, holding him. There really was not anything else that I could do.

Then a senior pal rang the bell. I had forgotten that she had offered to take M-I-L to mass at the Basilica in DC. Great! Go forth and enjoy!

I fed my spouse some lunch of that marvelous, curative, chicken soup.

Then what did my wondering eyes appear but more color in my spouse’s cheeks. More direct contact. More clear speech. He came back! He asked me several questions, such as what day it was and if he had been out, and what he was doing. He also asked to eat, saying that he was hungry. He had forgotten that he ate lunch just 10 minutes earlier.

This is how awful that brain involvement of this disease is.

I didn’t argue. I fed him again. I made him drink fluids so he would remain hydrated.

After lunch #2, he and I sat in our family room, holding hands again. This was the rare moment when he turned to me and said, “I’m sorry that our first Christmas as a married couple is this way. I love you. Merry Christmas, my love.”

I choked back tears and just held him.

Then, damn… that blank stare returned. I lost him once again to that vacating brain fog. He just sat there. I just held his hand.

And thus the day was bright for about an hour, then I returned to doing what I do… hold him, love him, care for him.

Life is short: show those you love how you love them.