I was unpacking Christmas decorations, pictures, and my collection of holiday cards kept over decades; drawn by my sister, Mary; our children’s artwork, cards with loved ones’ signatures.
This is the first year I can’t see them.
In a rare moment, I was whimpering about this. I walked downstairs to talk with Kirk about it while he was eating his Raisin Bran. He paused, turned to me and said, “Annie, it’s a loss, yes, but look at what you’ve overcome, what you’ve made of your life. You’ll push through this just as you’ve met all the challenges thrown at you,” then he continued eating his breakfast.
What a vote of confidence.
That very evening, I attended a dinner party with new friends. Lovely, lovely people who reintroduced themselves to me–I’m still learning their voices. Throughout the evening, there was no mention of vision loss, simply friends talking. The Christmas “feeling” continued when after most people had left, the host, Judi, led me around the room feeling touching her beautiful wreaths and stair decorations of ribbons, magnolias, berries, and something like gold seaweed fans. Her collection of Snow Babies were charming figures with wings, coarsely textured by snow glitter on their bodies, then smooth finishes on the rest of the figurines in their little scenes of riding a sleigh or fishing a frozen pond.
Next, we found bronzed glass eggs wrapped in raffia, her Holy Family cuddled on a table, a desk sized Christmas carousel of horses, tigers, zebras, and little people riding. Judi gave me on of the figurines; a mother in her winter dress, holding her child on the horse.
Judi told me about the winter scenes on the carosel canopy and guided my hand to feel the mirrors there and along the inside cylinder which she told me reflected the little blinking lights. She turned on the carousel and the figures began to move round and round while the calliope music played.
After that, she led me to her magnificent collection of nutcrackers on her mantel and tree. I felt nutcracker crowns, soft hair and beards, swords, chomping jaws and capes. They ranged from three feet to palm size. I felt as if I were in a winter wonderland museum or toy store where I could touch, touch, touch. I felt glass ornaments wired to the tree, wide wired bows with different textures, sparkling sequined ornaments, sugar frosted blown glass in shapes of fruit and teardrops, a dancing, glittery reindeer, and tassels. My fingers floated over her tree and mantel, and I felt absolute joy experiencing this. She described the colors and dots on the ribbon which gave me a sense of current style.
It was a magnificent experience.
You can see how my new Christmas “feelings” give great joy and fulfillment.