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Advertise on the Tentacle

December 5, 2013

Be The “Love” This Holiday Season

Patricia A. Kelly

The lights are up again, tons of them, already. As new owners in Frederick City take the place of those who have moved on, sometimes to Heaven, the lights and decorations change, a small reminder that life goes on, and that Frederick’s historic homes continue to thrive under the stewardship of successive generations.


Lying in bed the other morning with my cat, Tinkerbelle, I noticed that she had placed her paw across my wrist, creating a quiet connection. Yes, she is 16, and becoming a high maintenance girl, now on thyroid and anti-throw up medicine along with the usual multiple cat needs. The gentle touch of that tiny, white paw, though, just reminded me of why she is worth it.


By the way, if you have a cat and are feeling any holiday stress, be sure to look at “Sad Cat Diary” on You Tube. Just be careful to make sure you’re strapped into your chair, so you don’t hurt yourself by falling out of it laughing.


My family started a new Thanksgiving routine a few years ago. It involves 30-something guests, all wearing costumes, this year from the Roaring 20’s. There was a speakeasy in the home office. There was the annual turkey shoot, which involves shooting foam darts from plastic guns at a pretend turkey floating in the swimming pool. Grandma Shea won this year. They say she got the gun that shoots straight, so there was some luck involved.


As usual there was a costume contest, won this year by Grandpa Shea, who arrived dressed in a royal blue sequined gown complete with boa, feather headdress, beaver coat and pink Dr. Scholl sandals.


In the Trivia contest, I came in with the second group, missing the question of what was not in existence in the 20’s, Pez candy, insulin, or Oreos. No, I’m not going to tell you the answer.


I hated all this at first. Where was my Thanksgiving, dressed nicely and comfortably, sitting at a civilized table, and politely conversing while eating too much? I was so wrong! I’m already scouting out an 80’s costume for next year, winning suggestions welcome.


My sister is here now. She was adopted when she married my brother, who died 26 years ago. Today, before leaving, she will be pushing me to make some necessary medical appointments, and get some small tasks done, as she always does everything she can to make my life the best it can be. Even when terrible things happen, you sometimes get lucky, as I definitely did.


Last night, I spent some time cuddling with my granddaughter, who recently suffered a mild concussion and whiplash injury in a fall from a horse. She had come from the hospital with a clean C.A.T. scan after developing increased dizziness, and we were feeling quite celebratory as I had a chance to explain, to her wonder, how my sister became my sister. I’d like to spend my life with my “paw” gently touching both of their wrists.


The adults in my immediate family draw names for Christmas gifts. This has made a huge difference in our stress levels, and confirmed again for me that Christmas is not about gifts. Last Christmas was about watching my Florida grandchildren, wearing shorts, running around my backyard in the surprise Christmas Eve snow. This year will, at least, mean a family Christmas dinner at my house with all of them. That will definitely be my present.


I look around, observing the new Christmas lights on old houses, surprised at the changes life has wrought in those around me, forgetting the changes in me. My first dates involve statements such as, “I got a good report from my doctor, so I can have a cookie with our coffee.” Evenings with friends can revolve around shared medical advice, the dangers around us, or the lack of initiative among the young. I’m left wanting to jump up immediately, grab a knapsack and start hitchhiking around the country.


I don’t mind dying half as much as I would hate not living.


Oh, well, the year is coming to an end, with lights and food and parties and hugs. I already have a resolution, which is to “be” love for my family and friends, and, rather than trying to help them improve their lives, support them in living the lives they have created.


Wish me luck with it, as I wish you every blessing this Holiday Season. Relax, eat some fruit and vegetables between cookies, hug your Mom, and “be” the love in the world.


Yellow Cab
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