‘Tis the Season..…

……….to be merry’. And for some of my readers with a partner experiencing Alzheimer’s being merry has no less importance! I remember that my wife Dorothy, in her later years, wasn’t always able to show her recognition of the ‘difference’ of this time of year. But we all need this annual jolt to ‘refresh and renew’ us and find a way to use this time of the year to cheer each other up!

The very last time our extended family met (other than at Dorothy’s funeral) was at a specially arranged Christmas camp in Northern Victoria some years ago. That was a bitter-sweet time which only now I can remember without the sadness and despair I felt at the time. With those thoughts spinning in my mind, I am thinking of my readers who are grappling with their partner’s Alzheimer’s. My heart is with you.

I am fortunate to still have a loving family many of whom will be holidaying with their families and I will be joining my daughter and her family this year. What a joy it is to have a family! But I recognise that many people, maybe some of my readers, by choice or because of illness or other reasons, can’t have the experience of a family Christmas – and to them I send my greetings and the wish that love will find a way to enliven and strengthen you and you will feel refreshed, ready for next year.

As I mentioned in my last piece, I have been away for a whole month, on a cruise ship (Queen Elizabeth) alone, but with thousands of others. Yes, there was some Coronavirus on board but the crew managed us all better, I think, than had we been in some other places! All passengers and crew were frequently tested and, of course, all had to wear masks all the time except for eating and drinking. I certainly had a thoroughly delightful time: no shopping, cooking, washing-up, cleaning, or bed-making – heaven! And heaps of live entertainment, never a dull moment;, and most days I walked 5K around the decks; haven’t been that fit for years! It was a wonderful recuperative time for me, and before I left the ship I tested covid clear. Then I lowered my guard, so to speak, and travelled home overnight from Sydney to Melbourne by rail, then public bus to where I live, with hardly a mask to be seen (and only on me briefly, stupidly). You guessed it: within four days I tested positive and I am still in isolation, hopefully clear by the 25th!

Now, after a couple of days of slight symptoms, I am feeling better each day and certainly well enough to pen these few words to wish all my friends and readers a Happy and Holy Christmas with the hope we all have for a better, brighter, and peaceful New Year!