This year.. Christmas just wasn't right. My Grandpa has been sick. He went into the hospital just before Beege's birthday for miscellaneous reasons, and came out diagnosed with cancer. They can't really treat it because he had a heart attack 4 years ago and with the current condition of his heart, they'd be killing the cancer, but probably him too. He went back in on Boxing day. We're still not sure when he's coming home.
I'd been joking, leading up to Christmas, saying that I'd been in the hospital for Christmas the past two years and I really thought that it was someone else's turn. I have to say, that I'd be really happy if it would have been me after all.
I didn't grow up all that close to my grandparents -- my mother has had her differences with them -- but they've always been there, especially at Christmas. Every year, since before I can remember, we've headed up here after a big breakfast and presents for the family dinner. For the past five years, however, we've been living in their basement apartment and I've been spending a lot more time with them.
My husband, the girls and I ordered a pizza and watched the Barbie version of "A Christmas Carol" on Christmas Eve. We drank hot chocolate and left Santa some cookies. We had a relaxed morning; my sister and her husband (it's still weird saying that) came over for breakfast. Kee got her Jenna doll under the tree and was thrilled beyond words; she was yelling things in a voice that only dogs could hear. Beege got a new watch, her first "real big girl" present. My mum and dad, brother and his wife came a bit later for presents with the girls. My Grandpa was home at the time and we had a buffet-style dinner instead of the usual sit-down thing we usually do, the whole family was here, and it was really nice.
And I haven't said anything about it, because I feel guilty.
I've had people that I love die before. But I've never lived in the house, I didn't see them getting sicker and feel like I should be able to do anything about it. It really freaking sucks. It seems wrong to just go about my business and get on with my life while someone I care about is going through something so hard. But. There are kids and dogs and jobs to be taken care of, and I don't have the luxury of sitting around hurting.
I realise that I've also started thinking of it in terms of "when", not "if". My grandpa is 87 years old. He's got a bad heart and cancer. Am I a horrible person that I've started to wonder where we're going to live if Grandma has to sell the house? Because every time I have a thought like that, I feel like a complete asshole.