A Christmas Past, long ago and far away.
Since my sister Marge owns the largest house in the family, we normally hold the Christmas Party there.
So one Christmas day, I arrived in her driveway, and stepped out of my car with my son. My mother pulled up alongside with my grandfather. Grandpa was well into his 90’s but still sharp as a tack, and although we took away his car keys at the age of 93, he was still able to function, dress and feed himself. Most 90-somethings would be jealous.
My mother and Grandfather got out of the car. We exchanged greetings, and started to walk towards the front door. Suddenly, my mother’s cell phone rang. It was my step-father. He had been fighting off a funky skin disease for the last month, with skin flaking, and oozing. Yes, quite gross. My mother had been begging him for weeks to go to the doctor.
My mother immediately (and rightly so) starts screaming at him. “I told you to go to the $%#@ doctor, but NO you have to wait for $#%@ Christmas day! I’m at Marge’s house and we are ^%$# ready to go into dinner!”
As usual, my Grandfather slipped off to the side and prayed while my mother swore, er, spoke on the phone.
We kept walking towards the front door. My sister Marge heard all the commotion and came to the door. She stood there with her jaw hanging open, a potholder in her hand. She really should not have been surprized; it was Christmas after all, and our family keeps the FUN in dysFUNctional.
We walked into the house, and my mother hung up the phone. “I can’t believe him, he waits until today to go to the hospital. I’ll go get him, and take him down to the hospital, and I’ll be back later.” We shrugged our shoulders and she left.
“Ok, we can eat now,” Marge’s husband, Bob told us. The table was all set. We were just about to find our seats when…
My grandfather spoke up. “My legs hurt. Do you think you could give me a ride home, Bob?”
“Yeah, sure, I can take you. Not a problem.” Bob had a lot of patience with the elderly gentlemen.
“Well, would it be alright if I brought a plate home with me?” my grandfather asked.
All the food was out on the counter, ready to be served buffet style, so Marge grabbed a tupperware container and began to fill it up with turkey and all the fixins.
“Here you go, Grandpa, I hope you feel better,” Marge said as she slipped the tupperware into his hands.
“Thank you and Merry Christmas.”
“I’ll be right back,” Bob said as he followed Grandpa out the door, and he closed the door behind him.
“I need a drink,” Marged sighed. She grabbed the big bottle of Jagermeister off the shelf over top of the fridge. She plunked it down on the buffet counter, grabbed some glasses and started pouring.
We had a shot, and then picked a little turkey off the bird. Had another sip, and grabbed a spoonful of mashed potatoes. Another glass, and some stuffing.
Soon we had noticed that we had quite a buzz, and also that we were full.
Bob came back in the door. “We can eat now.”
“We’re not hungry,” Marge slurred. “We picked at the food, and I guess we ate too much.”
Bob grabbed himself a plate and went into the den to watch the Nascar races. Alone.
My mother called. “The nurse said she’s really sorry, but they have to keep him overnight. I told her ‘please, please, keep him overnight!'”
“We’re finished eating,” Marge slurred into the phone. Do you want to come over for desert?”
“No, I’m not going back out. I’m done for the day. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”
Happy Christmas to ALL, and to all a good night!