We are now in that time between Christmas and New Year's, a time to recover from the holidays while gearing up to start fresh in 2008. It's a strange time that feels sort of anticlimactic; Christmas is over, the presents have been exchanged, family members have been hugged, but now it's time to go back to the real world.
I went to visit my family in Ottawa, and it was a packed house. In addition to my parents, Violet and myself, there was my sister Claire, my brother Richard, his wife Claire, and their daughter Imogen. It wasn't the greatest of times for everyone; my sister was sick, then whatever she had spread to Richard and Imogen. Violet and I escaped that, but we had bad news of our own. On Christmas morning we learned from Violet's sister Georgina that their mom had gone into the hospital, and that it was fairly serious. She's been in and out of the hospital a lot lately, due to blood problems in her legs, but this time it was her kidneys and liver. Violet and I had to decide whether to return to Toronto immediately to check on her, or wait for more news from Georgina.
In the end we decided to stay with my family. There was nothing we could do for her even if we did make the five-hour trek, so we waited and hoped for the best. After dinner, Violet got through to Georgina and learned that their mother was doing much better. The relief was enormous. We visited her in hospital as soon as we got back into the city on Boxing Day, and she was in good spirits. She will have to stay there a while longer, though.
I'm glad Violet and I didn't rush off. I'd been really looking forward to that holiday after the stress of a month and a half of fruitless job hunting. It's selfish, but I really didn't want my time with my family to be cut short. We had a lot of fun together, and I'm very grateful for that. I'm also very grateful that my wife's mother is in good hands.
Happy Holidays, everyone.