Friday, December 25, 2015

Margaritaville: The Christmas Report

The tree, complete with my mom's crocheted snowflakes

Front hallway lights and unintentional selfie
The Christmas lights went up late this year due to the sore throat and cold. It was a joy to be feeling well enough to snare a tree and pull down the boxes of lights and get to work. I was feeling the satisfaction of the season as I stepped down the ladder, admiring the last string of lights atop the armoire in the dining room, when what to my wondering eyes should appear...well, pretty much nothing. When I opened my eyes, I was on the floor next to an overturned dining room chair with the ladder on top of me.

My friend Pete was here, a few feet away in the kitchen, baking cookies. I explained as quickly as I could that I hadn't hit my head, that I hadn't fallen from the top of the ladder, but simply missed the last step and probably would have managed to keep my balance if I hadn't collided with the chair. In those first moments I felt worse for him than for myself, having tended to a few emergencies with my mom during the years she lived here and knowing all too well those initial moments of pure panic and  the awful scenario of spending the holiday in the ER. 

I was lucky enough to forgo the sleigh ride to the hospital, but I've got some bruised ribs and a sore tailbone. And I'm sort of thankful for the reminder of how life can change in an instant. I know that. We all do. And I suppose it's good to forget it now and then and just be caught up in those times of joyful ease, but we also need to know that it can all come crashing down.

And so here I am this Christmas Day, thinking of my mom and hoping she's having a good Christmas in Iowa, thinking of Dan as I struggle for a good deep breath since the site of my injured ribs is exactly where his incision was from his lung cancer surgery, and last night I told the story of my dad and our family rituals protecting us from  Christmas tree danger. We love the distant, the dead, the living, and the light, and the darkness.

And speaking of light and darkness, I happened to catch this from my bedroom window as it streaked past.  

O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Guide us to thy perfect Light.

Of course, I didn't think of that at all at first. I thought the worst--plane on fire, alien attack, end of the world. That's the way I am. And I wish you a very Merry Christmas. 


Ms. Moon said...

Merry Christmas, dear Denise! I am so glad you were not hurt worse. Breath gently. Be at peace. Your tree is gorgeous. Those snowflakes!

Allison said...

There is just nothing quite as painful as bruised ribs. I went down on a mountain bike a few years ago and I could not breathe for two weeks, it was just awful. Hope you heal quickly. Your decorations are just gorgeous.

Elizabeth said...

Wow. I'm so glad that you escaped with relatively minor injurites, but jeez. Be careful, woman! I'm hoping you can come up to LA and do the next book group! I miss you and hope that you're well.

Merry Christmas, beautiful woman.

37paddington said...

Merry Christmas, dear Denise. Sorry you had that spill. You were probably still weak from the flu thing you had. I hope you're feeling somewhat better now and enjoying good company and good cheer. Love.

Suz said...

I thought of you this have been through so much
gallantly but none the less...stuff, hard stuff
Hoping the new year will be one of release and love and joy