Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sickness at Christmas Time, Continued...

Christmas Day was not at all what I had imagined or hoped for or anticipated. In fact, it was quite the opposite. I came down with the stomach bug that had hit the rest of my little family earlier, and spent Christmas Day feeling weak and miserable. I missed out on my favorite day of the year, and it was a sad, sad day.

The good news is that My Hero and Christopher Robin and Peanut Butter were all well, and full of energy and happiness, and able to enjoy the days' festivities. And My Hero came home from Christmas with my parents and siblings and the whole big riotous party that opening presents with all of them is, and filled me in on all the highlights in such a way that I felt like I'd been there.

Our two little boys had a wonderful day, and came home full of sugar and needing bedtime desperately. Then Peanut Butter woke up a couple of hours later to throw up the contents of his little tummy. A stomach still sensitive from recent illness was no match for all the sweet treats his grandpa and great-grandpa let him ingest.

The saddest part of this Christmas season for me was missing out on visiting with my out-of-town siblings. My sister and brother-in-law from Chicago arrived on Friday, the day Peanut Butter introduced the illness to our family. The party that we scheduled on Saturday evening specifically so my sister and her husband could attend was cancelled. The plan to hold it at my best friend's place instead of ours ground to a halt when her little baby girl began vomiting.

Saturday evening Christopher Robin was hit hard with the same illness. Just as Peanut Butter was recovering, really. Sunday morning My Hero stayed home with the boys while I went to participate in the Christmas Sunday morning service at church. My Hero was responsible for the video and words on the screen during the service, and I was part of the worship team, including a special piece two other ladies and I had been practicing for months. We decided he was more easily replaced than I was, and I ended up running MediaShout during part of the service while the visual team's understudy ran it during the music. The service was amazing, and I was so glad I didn't have to miss it. I came home to a husband laying on the floor and two boys wreaking havoc around him. He came down with the stomach bug, and spent Sunday and Monday recovering. Monday evening Peanut Butter and I attended the family Christmas Eve party, hopeful that in the morning we would all be well enough to participate in all of the festivities of Christmas Day. I thought surely if I was going to come down with it, I already would have.

Alas. Life is full of disappointments. Thankfully I slept much of the day, which felt nice, and spent some time being cheered by this:

A book I saw in a bookstore a month or so ago and decided to spend the last of my birthday money on. It's by the author of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, a book gifted me by a dear friend with impeccable taste for literature, which proved to be an absolute delicacy from start to finish.

It didn't let me down. This author has such a fun, imaginative style, and I love the way her characters have many sides to them, not just "good" or "bad".

It was a perfect read for a Christmas Day stuck in bed.

My sister and her husband leave tomorrow, so I essentially missed their whole visit, other than seeing them at church and the family Christmas Eve party. Not entirely though. My parents in law flew in yesterday to stay for 6 days, and they encouraged me to take the evening and spend some time with my sister while they took care of the boys and put them to bed. So after supper I went to my parents' house, and we played Bang!, a new game my sister got for Christmas based on a genre of Italian western shows, played much in the style of Mafia. It was a very fun evening spent shooting each other off.

My older brother and his new wife drove in from Connecticut Sunday morning in time for church, so I saw them then and at the Christmas Eve party, but missed all other interaction with them, which was crushing. I was so so looking forward to getting to spend time with them with just our family, playing games, etc. Apparently Christmas evening they had a rip-roaring good time playing Bang! as a family. But they were gone, back to Connecticut, before I was feeling well.

All in all, I'm already looking forward to next Christmas. Surely we can't be sick two Christmases in a row... And telling myself to treasure all the times with family I don't miss out on, and I really am so thankful that I have a family I love so dearly that it kills me to miss Christmas with them.

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