Or, otherwise more aptly entitled…
Spare a thought
I wasn’t really sure how to start this post, so I guess I’ll just ramble on for a bit (nothing new there then, eh?) and hope it makes sense.
So, if you weren’t already aware, Christmas is almost upon us.
For many people who ‘celebrate’ Christmas, it’s a time of festivity: getting together, eating, drinking, complaining about the sprouts, watching a TV Soap with bated breath and wondering who’s going to get clobbered around the head and ‘snuff it’ (die) this year, giving and receiving presents and, maybe, just maybe, even celebrating Christ’s birth!
Fancy that, eh?
It may be a day of consumption, indulgence, merriment and slobbing in front of the telly, doing absolutely nothing, other than perhaps reaching for the Rennies when the indigestion or heartburn gets too much – once all the cooking and washing up’s been done, of course.
But… (there just has to be a ‘but’ with me, doesn’t there?)…
For others, it may well be a day like any other, or a day tinged with sadness or unbearable challenges: like displacement from their country of origin or separation from family members, famine, warfare, domestic violence, sexual abuse, homelessness, terminal illness, disability, loneliness, suicide, grieving for the loss of a loved one.
I won’t go on. I’m sure you get my drift.
But despite others’ tragedy and adversity, life still goes on for the rest of us, doesn’t it?…because it has to…because we want it to. Because, well, that’s just what life does…until the time comes when it doesn’t go on, of course.
I guess, since Hannah came into the world, I’ve had a much more heightened awareness of and experienced the challenges (and heartache) that caring for a child with additional needs brings – and the fragility of life too!
But we also get on with things. We’re fortunate that we can go on holidays and trips. We celebrate birthdays and Christmas, just like lots of other people do…often with a twist…there’s probably always a plot twist!
Because far more thought, preparation and planning has to go into pretty much everything. Spontaneity goes out of the window. Stuff crops up and plans may have to be cancelled or amended.
I’m sure my fellow special families will concur!
But I/we couldn’t expect anyone else to know that or understand any of it, unless they live it. Unless they walked in our shoes. Experienced our life.
And, really, why should they anyway? It doesn’t affect them.
So, yeah, Christmas – as I mentioned in my last post, may be different for us compared to the majority. But we adapt. We try and make the most of it.
And for many special families, there’ll most probably be the turkey and tinsel and presents and merriment and whatnot. But life doesn’t just stop like the average familys might do for a few days. The festive season probably won’t give our families a breather or maybe the luxury of lying on the sofa, watching the telly all day. There may also be the same, often time-consuming, repetitive stuff or maybe new things thrown into the loop: peg or NG feeds, blended diets, aspirating, flushing out, nappy changes, stretches, therapy, positioning, medication, keeping a child in meltdown safe, carefully timing how long a seizure lasts and contemplating whether to dial 999, visits from community nurses, dashes to hospital or living temporarily in the hospice…waiting, catheterising, applying distraction techniques during a bout of self-harm, putting a brave face on for everyone after a new, heart-breaking diagnosis.
This list is not exhaustive, btw!
None of that stuff just stops simply because it’s Christmas day or Boxing Day or any other day, you know? Most of it won’t wait until the chocolate orange or Quality Street have been guzzled and the Queen’s done her speech, James Bond has drunk another martini or the Grinch has made friends with the residents of Whoville. It all must still happen at the time it’s supposed to happen, no matter how long it takes.
Tis the season to be jolly? Well, actually, every season ought to be jolly, really, ideally, don’t you think? However, whilst you’re tucking into your turkey and pigs in blankets (we don’t ‘do’ turkey at Broccoli HQ, but living with 2 pescatarians, I get the little piggy’s in blankets all to myself…yum!) or goose or nut roast or whatever, please spare a thought, a brief second at the very least, for those having a less easier, perhaps more challenging day than you this year; for those who wished the day would be over and done with, for those whose hearts are heavy, for those who never made it to today.
Hold your loved ones and your babies a little closer, because you have the luxury of that this Christmas, because they’re here with you this year.
Please, try and not take that for granted.
…and maybe, give a little bit of thanks too!
So, I guess that’s all for now, my lovelies.
Just in case I don’t get around to writing any new posts for a bit, we wish you and yours a truly wonderful, peaceful Christmas and a happy and incredibly healthy 2017.
Until next time and with our love…
Annie & Hannah xoxo
This post is dedicated to CC, ED and RD – beautiful boy ❤