“Christmas comes once a year”
“And every man must have his share”
“Only poor Willy in the jail, drinking sour ginger beer”
-Famous limerick that plays on the radio in Guyana, South America at Christmastime
This is the worse time of year, with people running around like the White Rabbit and acting like the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland, getting caught up in the hype and the materialism of worldly Christmas. I think I’d rather be in a jail in Guyana hanging out with Poor Willy rather than being accosted by the incessant ads and other claptrap during the commercial Christmas season. That is, if the jail does not subject its inmates to Christmas hype. That would be cruel and unusual punishment!
I’d gladly swap sour ginger beer with phony Christmas cheer!
Last year I camped out at the nursing home at my dear Sandi’s bedside last Christmas season until the Lord took her home December 4, 2017. No more sorrow, no more pain, and no more Christmas hype coming from Sandi’s roommates’ TV’s.
Visiting Sandi at the nursing home, where I camped out from late summer to late fall, I learned a lot about what is important in life and about the true meaning of Christmas. I witnessed a change in Sandi, who not only loathed the idea of going to a nursing home, but was tired of being tired. She just did not want to go on.
After having been in the hospital a few weeks, Sandi was taken to the nursing home. She was taken at night, too late I was told for me to visit her there (I later learned that I was lied to about visiting hours, probably an attempt to keep me from seeing her senile roommates and selecting a new place). When I visited Sandi the next morning, I asked her for the remote so she could select a station. She snapped that there is no remote. I thought she was just being cross, but there was no remote and you just had to change channels on the TV. I asked her if she was angry at me. “Yes”, she said. One day shortly before this, when there was talk about sending Sandi to the nursing home, Sandi quipped “you’re not going to get rid of me that easy!”
I explained to Sandi it was not my decision to put her in the nursing home; we were not married, yet. It was a good idea, however, as at that point I wasn’t equipped to properly care for her.
There were times when I, physically and mentally fatigued with caring for Sandi, I considered putting her in a nursing home. But thanks to our pastor, Abie, with whom I shared my struggle in taking care of Sandi, I decided to devote myself fully to her. Abie asked me, “either be all the way in, or all the way out.” Next time I talked with him I said “Abie, I’m all the way in!”
And Sandi reciprocated in her attitude. She had the will to live, and reflected Jesus. While other residents in hospice, who had more freedom than she did, were bitter, Sandi was cheerful. You might say she was full of genuine Christmas cheer! It also brought us closer together. I learned the importance of commitment and loyalty, holiday ingredients better than any ginger bread man, the right ingredients to keep man and woman together in peaceful harmony.
I wrote much of my recently published book “There Are Homeless in Bucks County; A Journey With The Homeless” while camped out with Sandi at the nursing home. I learned a lot about life over the static of the commercial Christmas claptrap while visiting the home.
One thing I learned is how people abandon their loved ones when they are in the nursing home. I expressed my opinion in an article I wrote while in the nursing home on faithwriters.com. Someone commented on my piece that he was reluctant to visit someone in the nursing home. He explained that the person didn’t return his calls and did not think he would even recognize him. But after reading my article on Faith Writers, he said he was going to go visit the person in the nursing home and leave it all in God’s hands. This is why I like using my God-given gift to write.