I suppose I will have to go through a whole year or more of ‘firsts.’ Today was one of them. I went to buy a Christmas tree. That’s always been Russell’s job. And tomorrow, once I’ve found the stand, I’ll put it up and decorate it – though I’ll have to shift some furniture first, it’s bushy.
Another first, now I think about it, is Christmas boxes. Russell always liked to leave the Christmas tips. I gave my cleaners £15 each and I’ve left £10 for the milkman – I’m guessing really, I don’t know how much is appropriate. I remember that, when I was a child, my mother packed up parcels of tea for the dustmen, but she might well have slipped in a pound note for each of them too. I’m assuming that there will be four and a fiver each is okay? Any advice would be very welcome. And £20 for the postman? Yet there are several postmen, so who will get it is a matter of chance. This is all a bit grown up for me, I’m 61 years old and I’ve never done it before and I’m floundering. I feel tearful and inept.
The reason is not about the Christmas presents (and I feel that the lovely people who come and give quietly excellent service all through the year deserve their tip and really want to be appropriate) but because my friend Marian is dying. I just wrote this on Facebook because, frankly, I knew I’d get those virtual hugs and rather needed them.
A very old friend had a stroke a few weeks ago. She was doing well and was pleased to have her friends’ cards and loving messages, but then she had another, more serious one. Her elder sister, aged 99, has taken the intolerably difficult decision to remove life-giving support. It’s the right decision, but how we will all miss her.
That I feel awful isn’t relevant, this isn’t about me, though I’m not going to turn away from a virtual hug. Please think kindly about dear Marian and her family.
This has been a hard year for me and my friends. I hope it has been better for you.
Tomorrow, I will decorate my Christmas tree. Onwards, my friends, and upwards. Always remember, laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you get what you want….oh, wait…..