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Kansas City MO 64131






Cindy Maddera


Our holiday started with a broken dryer that now sits in pieces in the basement while Michael waits for a part that had to be ordered. Then we spent the next three days in the car. At least that's what it felt like. Cindy and Terry where gracious to have us all over at their place for Thanksgiving. Their home was filled with their family and ours and it was loud and boisterous and full with love. The next day Michael, Mom and I travelled to Talahina to see Dad and then we found ourselves back at Cindy and Terry's for campfires and s'mores. The cloud of general sadness that comes with the holidays has sort of settled on the family. There's just been too much loss for us in too short of time. Dad's illness is the icing on the cake. He's doing as well as to be expected. He remembers me, but forgot that I live in Kansas City. He tells me that he keeps losing time and that time gets rearranged. He believes that he's going to get better and that he will be able to come home soon. He even had his suitcase packed for when that day comes. But he doesn't quite remember where home is or that mom lives in a house and not the old trailer they had on the lot before the house was built. He still cries and he still laughs. He still pulls his chair to the door of his room so that he can sit and talk to people who pass by.

We are all struggling with this in our own way and the holidays are just a reminder that our family is slightly broken. I find myself reaching to pull myself out of my own hole of depression. I'm trying real hard to be happy, to care about anything other than my own sadness. I have some really good reasons to be happy. I'm not spending Christmas alone this year. This year there will be child in the house who still believes in the miracle of Christmas and that Santa will leave gifts under a tree for her. I have found a partner who understands me, knows me better than I know myself at times. On our way home yesterday, I said that I couldn't remember if I'd set the house alarm. We were minutes from the house when I realized this and Michael said "I'm so glad you're just now discovering this while we are only two miles from the house and not fretting about it all weekend". He knows that I worry constantly about everything and that I put on a good front.

I decided not to put my tree out this year because space is an issue and I have too many delicate ornaments. I would be a nervous wreck worrying that my precious Babar would be smashed (again). Instead, we picked up Michael's tiny table-top tree from his apartment. I pulled off the old lights, restrung the tree with new ones, and decorated the tree with some of my non-breakable ornaments. Next weekend, I'll buy material to make two new stockings to hang next to mine. These are little things that keep that cloud from getting darker. I'll take it.