I love the Holidays! I can not contain my smile when I think about them. Really any excuse to give gifts (no matter how small), cook yummy food and get together with friends and family. I love the feeling of building excitement, the day when I start getting to give the gifts I have worked so hard to get. On Christmas morning I am the first person awake in my house, nudging my sleepy-eyed family. The look, that passes a person’s face, when the gift is just right is the “holy grail,” to me. In that split second you can see them thinking, “How could she remember? She really knows me and listens.” To me, that feeling of the other person’s joy is the ultimate win.
I started to show significant symptoms of Fredrich’s Ataxia (FA), around the same time, as I became a mother. In other words, I have been adapting my childhood visions of how I would implement traditions as a mother for the past seventeen years. When you are a mother with a disability, even how you will get the presents down from the closet you have been hiding them needs to be planned. In addition, when you have a progressive degenerative disease, every year your abilities are slightly different, and what worked last year no longer works anymore. There are certain parts that makeup Christmas. As I get older and my disease progresses, I am learning to simplify aspects of my holiday prep, while at the same time learning creative ways to continue to do what I love. However, I am starting to understand the need for a lot of “elves” in Santa’s Village. They are the steam behind Santa’s engine, and without them, there would be no magic.
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