You might have noticed I haven’t posted my usual Living Arrows posts for a few weeks now. After I last posted near the start of December my dad became suddenly and unexpectedly ill with acute pancreatitis. Unfortunately it’s a condition that there isn’t really any treatment for, and although the doctors did everything they could, he died peacefully in hospital two weeks later. I didn’t post anything because I didn’t really know what to say…
I still don’t really know what to say, or rather I have so much I want to say but I can’t find the words I need right now. It didn’t seem right though to finish the year without writing something, and after 8 years of posts I couldn’t just give up on Living Arrows all together.
As if things couldn’t get any worse, Toby tested positive for covid the day before my dad died. He had no symptoms at all – we were only testing the boys because Barry was supposed to be taking them up to see his Mum & Dad. Gabe followed with a positive test three days later – he had a bit of a temperature for the first day or so, and has been a bit off his food, but otherwise both of the boys have stayed well. They’re both testing negative now and Gabe’s isolation ends tomorrow. Thankfully, both Barry and I have managed not to catch it. We’ve both had our booster vaccines recently so I guess we’re at peak immunity because we’ve made no attempt to isolate or distance from the boys the whole time.
Despite everything we still wanted to try and make sure the boys enjoyed their Christmas. It was never going to be a normal Christmas with my dad gone, but covid meant we couldn’t spend the day with my mum and brother either. They did come over to our house in the afternoon and I sat in the garage with them for an hour or so while the boys talked to them from the hallway and I’m glad we got to see them, at least for a little bit.
We tried to keep as many things as we could as normal as possible – so Toby and Gabe got new matching pyjamas on Christmas Eve and I took their photo in front of the fireplace before they put out the mince pie, whisky and carrot for Father Christmas and the reindeer, just like we always do.
For the first time this year I joined the boys with the matching PJs too…
And I made Barry get in the picture too, although he didn’t join us in the Christmas pyjamas club…
It wasn’t the Christmas any of us wanted but at least the boys were still able to enjoy opening their presents, and we had a scaled back Christmas dinner (my mum has put the turkey she had ordered in the freezer so we can have another Christmas dinner when we can be together again).
I know we weren’t the only ones who didn’t get the Christmas they had planned this year – so many people were missing loved ones, or unable to see family and friends because they were having to isolate. I just hope you all managed to find at least a little bit of joy and peace this festive season.
With love from my family to yours, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – I’m sure we won’t be the only ones glad to see the back of 2021 xx
This is my ninth year taking part in this linky celebrating childhood, based on a poem by Kahlil Gibran, “You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth” .
If you’d like to see the rest of my Living Arrows posts you can find them all here.