Friday, 31. December 2004
A Quiet New Year's Eve

Friday, Dec. 31, 2004
11:45 a.m.

Scott is out shovelling the driveway so we can get out this afternoon and go to Mom and Dad’s. The photo above was taken yesterday; now there is twice as much snow as you see there.

While the boys and I were glad to see it had snowed during the night before Christmas, Scott’s feeling was that he’s worked in snow more than enough in his lifetime, and could have done without it now.

Can’t say as I blame him, particularly since there’s only one shovel here and he’s the one wielding it.

I got behind with some pictures. This one was taken when Grandma and my uncle Neil were here from Saskatchewan, and we had them over for supper.

On Boxing Day Mom was feeling well enough to be knitting, which is an improvement. Yesterday after they came from a doctor’s appointment, Dad reported that she actually stood at the kitchen counter and started preparing something. I hollered “What?!” loud enough that Scott came running out of the bedroom, where he’d been reading, to see what was the matter. It’s been so long since Mom had the energy to do anything in the kitchen.

Dad has taken to calling me every morning so I won’t “fret,” he says. He's getting trained to keep me in the know about what’s happening over there.

I haven’t seen Mom since Monday when we stopped in on our way to spend the night with friends after a meal out, but Mom is feeling well enough to make phone calls herself, so we talk every day at least once. I've been glad to spend some time at home after the past week of running around, and have managed to get some work done too, which will help get the rent paid.

Scott’s in now, announcing that the roads will be icy. I believe it. Last night we tried to go out for supper, and ended up turning around and coming home after going no further than the main road down below us. It was too slippery to risk driving on later at night, when there was already black ice to endanger life and limb.

Dad’s got supper in hand, he says, and we need only to bring a green salad and a couple cans of mushrooms. “Not fresh?” I asked, hoping. “Nope, don’t like ‘em,” he told me. He’s going to barbecue elk steaks that my brother-in-law brought from the farm.

Karen and Joan are up at Big White, skiing their buns off. I’m disappointed not to be able to bring in the New Year with my sisters, and we were invited to join them for their two nights up at the ski hill, but I wanted to be here in case something came up and also, maybe I’m being morbid, but this could be Mom’s last Christmas, her last New Year’s Eve. I don’t intend to miss the opportunity to spend them with her.

On Christmas Day she was tired so they left Joan’s early and went home. Scott and I surprised them later, knocking at their door to say “What’s the chance of getting a Christmas drink around here?”

“Pretty damn good,” Dad said, and pulled out a bottle of rye.

I went in and sat by Mom’s bed and we talked for three hours before Nurse Don suggested she get some sleep, that she’d been overdoing it lately. When she’s tired, she has more pain.

She seems to really enjoy having company now that she’s starting to feel better. And I in my turn am greedy for time spent with her, especially when her bad days have outnumbered her good ones over the past month or two. If this does turn out to be our last Christmas together, I will have a warm memory of those happy hours we spent talking.

This is the quilt we slept under when we stayed with our friends Monday night. And below is the new crop of pigs around our house since Christmas. Scott gave me the one on the left, and I gave him the piggy bank on the right. The collection just keeps growing.

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