Our Last Christmas Together

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Back in 2012, we celebrated our last Christmas with my wife’s mother. She had just been diagnosed with and inoperable brain tumor. It was a time of very deep and mixed emotions. Her father was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, and in January of 2013 had to be placed in a care facility as well. As I look at this photo, I see that Mother has resigned herself to what is to come and greatly enjoyed our last Christmas together. On the other hand Dad was filled with anxiety at the anticipation of being left alone without his wife to care for him.  You can see that his smile did not hold the same resignation as Mother’s. The adjustments of aging and loss are much deeper than any of us can imagine. As we complete our fiftieth year together, I often reflect on that Christmas, and on what is still to come.
Enjoying Christmas
Knowing everything will change
Winter’s mixed feelings


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Also posted of Frank Tassone’s Haikai challenge…

#Haikai Challenge #118 (12/21/19): Christmas/Hanukkah #haiku #senryu #haibun #tanka #haiga #renga


35 thoughts on “Our Last Christmas Together

  1. …year especially difficult for many of us. Prayers for your peace, joy, and faith the Christmas. May the season speak to you of the gift that is what our Lord came to give. Beautiful, touching Haiku. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My condolences. When my dad passed away a few years ago, I was able to be present with him on his journey from denial to acceptance to peace as he recognized his days were coming to an end. It did nothing to stop the overwhelming power of grief that would rip through my life, but as I dealt with that grief my dad remained my hero for his journey. He would celebrate 90 on the 23rd. I honor him and am grateful that you offer this reminder of your Mom to ring the bell of awareness for my Dad.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Now I’m crying. Beautiful and kind of scary too hey. You are right – there is an expression of uncertainty, trepidation, loss? on his face that is somewhat heartbreaking. We just never know how things will end – would we live our lives differently if we knew in advance? Thanks for sharing this. Merry Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Life is always changing things! Wonderful that you had them both together for that last photo! Glad you have these memories! We are at that stage of life where the road ahead is shorter than the road behind!!! Blessings to you, My Friend!!

    Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, you are so right. I started doing that a few years back and starting using a mental scale to evaluate the use of my time. It helps me give up some things that were keeping me from my goals. Check out my poem The Road Behind. Thanks for the Christmas wishes. Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and Happy New Years too!


  5. We’ve been through this. My FIL was in bad health, but it was the MIL who passed away suddenly after a kidney failure. He survived for 15 months after that, but his behavior was impacted by loneliness. The will to live had subsided.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: #Haikai Challenge #119 (12/28/19): New Year (Shinnen) #haiku #senryu #haibun #tanka #haiga #renga – Frank J. Tassone

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