Christmas Eve 5 years ago was not an experience I would ever want to go through again. My dear wife was very sick and feeling bad from the latest round of radiation. Snow was falling heavily, and it took much longer to get to Toledo than anticipated. On top of all that we were going to put our dog in a kennel so we could spend the holidays with family in Toledo.
It snowed so hard, that I could not find the kennel. It was my first time there, my oldest sister set it up for us, our Christmas gift. Road signs were covered with snow and we spent a long time trying to find the right turns. The dog never made it to the kennel. There was no room for him at my in-laws, and a cold cramped basement for him at my sister’s, were Christmas Eve dinner was.
Tired and angry, I took my daughters to dinner with my side of the family. After dinner, I dropped the two youngest off at Grandma’s and took the dog and my second oldest back home. With about 8 hours of rest, my daughter and I went back to Grandma’s to have dinner with my wife’s side of the family. For me, it was a very tense day, but I put it behind me as much as possible to make sure my wife had the best day possible.
We really didn’t know how much more time she would have, and I didn’t want to know.
After that Christmas, I tried to forget the events of the night before. I was never able to. 5 years later I remember almost every word. Words said in anger and frustration. If I could take them back I would. Little did I know how they would haunt me. That Christmas Eve was not the one I would ever have wanted for our last one together.