Every year I find myself time travelling over our box of Christmas decorations. All those handmade kid decorations and the sentimental ornaments that take me back to times before. There are the annual ornaments I always received from my Mum, a tradition now adopted by my sister. There are the ones from children I taught, and older ones too from so long ago I barely remember their origins. Garlands and baubles and hand embroidered love hearts. Toy soldiers made from pegs and pipe cleaner reindeer. Jingle bells from the first year I was married and a tiny wax baby Jesus nestled in a walnut shell. I watch the kids unwrapping each one and remembering, smiling as they feel that special Christmas magic. It’s a time of year I adore. The carols play us the lullabies of yule and this mood, this palpable feeling is the reason why I love this season so much. Family, love, memories, togetherness.
Only this year, I can’t manage to trim the whole tree. December First happens to have been a very big day this year and we are all a bit tired. The children lift and bring me each decoration and my arms shake as I hang them; just so. I push myself far beyond my capabilities. My husband puts the kids to bed and returns to find my head in my hands. I am spent. It’s not just the emotion of Christmas. I literally can’t move my legs. The weakness and pain radiates down my legs pinning me to the chair. I stare at the tree. The lights blink through the blur of my tears. It’s Christmas, but not as I know it. I don’t understand this pain I am having, the weakness and trouble with walking. I am afraid of it. It’s not a usual Dysautonomia symptom. Walking is not mediated by the Autonomic Nervous System, but the Central. I don’t understand and I don’t want to even try. I’m just weary. I am upset that even Christmas decorating is now tainted with the wrongs of this body. I try to make the tree come back into focus. It’s beautiful. It’s not finished… but there is tomorrow.
My favourite carol floats through the living room. My tiredness overwhelms me. Time for a silent night.
Have you heard this beautiful carol?
It’s the perfect Christmas-carol-for-mummies.
Here’s the link if you’d like to have a listen.
Have you been trimming your tree, too?