Well, it's not! This week I think it really hit me. I always have our tree up by the weekend after Thanksgiving if not the weekend before. Here it is the 9th of December, and I'm still in the process of getting it up! What is wrong with ME?? I finally rearranged the furniture on Sunday so we had room for a tree. Then, yesterday I made my way to the attic to drag down on the stuff! Tree first. I manage to get it all down and into the house and put up the first layer of the prelit tree. Half of it doesn't light, and one branch is bent so far down it is touching the floor. Not quite what I was expecting! And of course, we've used this tree for the last 7 years or so, and it's this year it decides to act crazy! A year when Allen isn't here to fix it for me! I simply sat down in defeat and decided to call my dad. He came over later that evening and managed to get the branch bent back up and sometime during the afternoon the lights came on too. So, I decide to go on up with the rest of it, after being at a complete standstill all afternoon! The rest of it went up but a couple of rows of lights in the middle didn't light. We decided to leave them on for awhile, maybe they needed to warm up! After being on all night, they should have been warm but they still weren't lit. I guess Dreyson could see my sense of defeat and sadness and he told me it was all okay because it would still be beautiful without all the lights turned on! Man, I love that kid! I was ready to throw it to the curb and go buy a new one, but not something we really should be spending money on while we wait for Allen's VA claim to come through.
Through all of this ordeal the last two days, I realized how much Allen really does around here. As much as I take care of him, he still does so much to help me. He is definitely missed around here!! He seems to be doing pretty well still. I don't think it will really bother him being away for the holidays as they are not an easy time of the year for him anyway. He's really pretty lost in his own world this time of year, but we have felt his absence. Dreyson hasn't called him Daddy for several years now, but has recently began referring to him as that again. (Of course, this is very touching for me, but I haven't mentioned it because I don't want him to become self conscience about it.) I think it's just a sign that he misses him too. He stayed home sick from school the other day and told me he wished his daddy was here cause daddy helps take care of him when he's sick.
Makale is a little more reserved with his emotions and harder to read by nature, but also because he's a teenager. However, I see it in the little things. He often will text or call his dad and has been doing it a lot more recently. We are all affected by his absence.
As difficult as these past couple of days have been on my emotions it has been really good for me to reflect on these feelings. Being a full time caregiver for someone with a mental illness like Allen's is very difficult and often hard to stay emotionally connected. This time has given me pause to reflect on this love I have for him and how much I really need him instead of the other way around all the time. I'm also thankful that I'm able to see these things and know that it's only through God's grace and understanding that I can.