Posted by Anonymous.
Christmas is just a little sadder now. Ever since I can remember, Santa came to visit on Christmas Eve at some point after we’d fallen asleep. We’d wake up to a wonderful, magical Christmas morning. I don’t know how old I was when I realized who Santa really was, but that didn’t stop me from believing in Santa. Not at all. Santa was still just as real, only the embodiment of Santa changed. Santa still came every Christmas Eve. This year I’m 37. Santa stopped coming for me a couple years ago. He sort of came the Christmas before last, but last year… Last year he faded away completely. You see, my mom was the best Santa around. She made every Christmas absolutely magical. It didn’t matter that her kids knew Santa wasn’t “real”. Santa kept coming, year after year. Even after we’d left home. Even after I’d married. Even after I had kids of my own. Santa still came for me.
The Santa part of my mom was taken by an insidious evil we call Alzheimer’s. My mom is still here. She’s still my mom and she’s, mostly, the woman she used to be. Mostly. The sending cards part of my mom has been snuffed out. The going out and picking out gifts for loved ones part of my mom has been extinguished. I can only imagine that Santa is in there somewhere. Trapped. Longing to get out and be free and play the role again. But Santa can’t.
At first I thought it was because the focus had shifted to the kids – at least that’s what I wanted to believe. But my kids are six and three. Santa still came for me when they were littler. I realized it wasn’t a decision to retire Santa. Santa was forced out by something much stronger. And with each passing Christmas it becomes more and more apparent that this malicious disease is taking more and more of my mom. Things are different. I wonder if the tree will get put up this year; if she’ll think of it. I wonder if she’ll pull out all the ornaments from years gone by and lovingly hang them from the tree. Or will my dad have to be the one this year to think of putting the tree up? I don’t think he quite realized until now how much my mom really did when it came to occasions. Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings. She was the gift-getter. She loved it. Looking for the perfect gift. The look on the faces of the recipients. Now? The task either falls on him – or gets forgotten completely.
I know this post is very sad, and it seems that Christmas has a dark cloud over it now, but I am thankful I still have my mom. And, of course, there are my kids. Santa lives on in the eyes of my children. The wonderment in their eyes is just amazing and I hope I can keep Santa alive for them, even though he’ll change form in their minds through the years, just as my mom did for so long for us.