T’was the night before Christmas, and all through my body
my organs were spazzing. Things began to go shoddy.
I was curled up my grandmother’s mattress alone
Weeping and wailing and weak to the bone
My family was downstairs baking and frying
And I felt there was no doubt I was dying…
Alright, so the point is this Christmas eve the side of my body started to hurt and gradually escalated to this really unbearable, blossoming, Christmas-miracle-but-like-whatever-is-the-opposite-of-miracle kind of excruciating pain and it all ended up with me declaring Christmas totally over because we needed to make a hospital run before I straight up died.
Mom in her kerchief and I with my “just in case” trashcan
Sped down winding back roads in her four door sedan
When what to my watering eyes should appear
The florescent glow of the hospital growing near
They admitted me in and laid me in a white bed. Two units of morphine, two units of something mysteriously stronger than morphine, and a dose of muscle relaxers later, the pain subsided to a bearable six out of ten. For the next eight hours, I underwent all kinds of tests to determine what was wrong. The verdict: kidney stones.
Okay, so yeah, this is officially pretty much a horrible story so far. I get that. Nothing cute or holiday themed yet. And unfortunately, there isn’t going to be. Reindeer don’t administer my CT scan. My doctor doesn’t have a curiously jolly belly. But this really was one of my favorite Christmases I can remember.
Maybe it was the five units narcotics delivered directly into my bloodstream, but laying there in the dark with my mother holding my hand at 2 a.m., I felt more at peace, more grateful, more full of the holiday spirit than I can remember ever feeling. Rivaling waking up at 6 years old to a room full of toys delivered by Santa and knowing that magic was real. Reader, it was as good as that.
I had just faced what my weary mind had believed on some level was a near death experience. I should, my exhausted brain was sure, be dead. But I wasn’t. Instead everything was thicker and warmer than I could ever remember seeing it (definitely the drugs on that one) and I was with the one person in the world who loved me more than I could ever love myself and she wasn’t even mad that I had thoroughly thwarted present giving and feast eating and all of the other special traditions my family saves for this one night a year. In fact, she was smiling and happy and relieved that I wasn’t in pain anymore.
I don’t even know if I can explain it. It just seemed to be the perfect moment. There was nothing but warmth and thickness and my mother and love. No presents and no decadent foods. Not even a real blanket, just this thin white sheet. I swear it just seemed like the most perfect, truest Christmas moment. It wasn’t about anything except love and being grateful for family and for being alive.
There was nothing to distract me from what the day was supposed to be about. It was absolutely perfect.
Or maybe that was all the morphine. Either way, this was definitely one of the best Christmases I can remember. I can only hope your holidays were as remarkable.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.