A solemn Christmas Day

After yesterday’s marathon church-o-rama, I wasn’t able to stay up watching A Christmas Story for long without falling asleep.

But I was up shortly after 8:00 to make breakfast: pancakes and a ham, cheese, potato, and onion “mom saver” (Alex says I should call it a “husband saver”, since I made it). I buggered up the cheese sauce, though. Next year, cheese only. No liquids.

Christmas Day, Calgary, Alberta, 25 December 2006

Just as we were starting to unpack our stockings, the phone rang. It was Janice, Alex’s mom. Alex’s grandfather had died only 30 minutes earlier. It wasn’t unexpected — he’d had a stroke only a week or two earlier and the prognosis hadn’t been good. The funeral was even planned in the expectation.

All things considered, this is the best thing that could happen. Alzheimer’s is an evil disease that robs a person of everything. He didn’t recognize his own children, and couldn’t understand why his wife was never around (she died two years ago). It’s been hard on Janice’s family, and it’s a burden that they can finally shed.

Still, it makes for a bittersweet day.

Alex and I took a moment to remember before getting into the presents under the tree. Asia got hers first — her catnip mouse literally bathed in fresh catnip. She was our entertainment while we ate.

Alex on Christmas Day, Calgary, Alberta, 25 December 2006

Alex did her best to get even with me for last year’s book bonanza. (Alex loves books, but I gave her a couple too many.) She found a really interesting one called Sign of the Qin, which I’d never heard of before but sounds interesting. I’m looking forward to reading it.

The “haul” (such as it is) comes out as following:

If I get a chance to do Boxing Day shopping remains to be seen. Sadly, with the passing of Alex’s grandfather, this week is almost a write-off for us. Only time will see.

We’re gearing up for dinner tonight at Mike and Brenda’s. That should prepare us for tomorrow’s excursion to Ontario. It’ll be good to see family for Christmas. I just wish it were under happier circumstances.

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