Christmas is all about family. Gray's Mum & Dad were due to spend Christmas Day, all day on the 27th, and New Year's Day with us as they usually do. Carers' were cancelled, arrangements made. Having had a not great year myself health-wise, and knowing we'd have lots to celebrate with Gray's degree this year, I pushed the boat out and ordered Christmas dinner in advance via M&S way back in October.
M&S did us proud. We collected everything on the 22nd and had nothing else left to worry about. I'd been buying presents for everyone online since the end of October, and come the middle of December everything had been wrapped and sent where necessary.
Christmas was sorted. Okay, we should have known when Gray's Mum received a call on the 18th to say she had to go in hospital on the 20th for a standard operation (that should have happened month's before), that nothing would go to plan. She was due to come out on the 22nd, so, ever positive, we said it'll be good to get it out the way before Christmas.
The operation went well. Now we could all look forward to Christmas even more. Then came the phone call on Christmas Eve - Gray's Mum had picked up a rather nasty virus in hospital. There was no way they could make it for Christmas dinner. Carers' were thankfully re-instated at the last minute, so at least Gray's Dad would get some help.
Christmas dinner came and went. Everything went perfectly - even my Yorkshire puddings (which were home-made) - typical!! When we'd all had (and enjoyed) our dinner, Gray nipped across town with his Mum & Dad's share, where they too enjoyed it.
Positive as ever, we all said to each other, we'll at least get the 27th together. Out of the blue late Christmas night I was in excruciating pain for an hour which wiped me out for Boxing Day. Relieved that the pain had gone, I enjoyed the day much more than I might have :-) (there's nothing like a bit of pain to put everything into perspective ;-))!
The good news (for me) was Gray was doing all the cooking on the 26th/27th (buffet food) so it didn't matter if I wasn't up to it. I could just sit and enjoy his Mum & Dad's company. Then came the telephone call on the 26th. Gray's Dad had now caught the virus - and they wouldn't make it on the 27th either!! Sometime later Gray took some of the buffet food across town for his parents.
We all missed Gray's Mum and Dad, but with retrospect I realised how wonderful Christmas had still been. DD & DS loved (and are still loving) every minute and I even won a round of Uno!
DD has also had her plans for tomorrow dashed. Her cousin's over on a rare visit from Australia and was coming to stay with us for a couple of days - we were going to take her to the panto and, DD & her friend had also arranged to take her for a meal. DD then planned to go back down south with her, stopping off en-route in London, and spending New Year's Eve at a big family party. I hadn't seen DD's cousin for over 15 years and was also looking forward to catching up. That was before we heard British Rail had decided to go on strike and scuppered ALL these plans!
D'you know something? I'm not planning anything for 2007...