Chaos Attraction

The Holiday Letter

2007-12-09, 12:03 a.m.

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Amusing prompt suggestion: "Write your own version of those holiday newsletters that people send to friends and relatives at this time of year." Well, after reading some stuff about this over at Carolyn Hax's chat, uh...I gotta, even thought I'm generally against that sort of thing. No, I am not writing it from the POV of my imaginary pet, either. Yes, I am actually attempting to write this seriously for some reason...

Dear Everybody:

Let's just get this part out of the way now, shall we?

No, I still don't have a man yet. No, there isn't any hope of this changing any time soon. I continue to not like anyone who likes me.

Well, now that a good third of the audience has found out what they wanted to know and crumpled this thing up and threw it in the trash, let's move on to other things with those who are still here, eh?

As most of you know, my father died in January, which we chose to finally allow because (a) hey, January is a crap month anyway, and (b) the medical bills were getting really fat. (Okay, yes, I'm morbid for making jokes like this, but 10 years of illness will do that to your brain.) Anyway, hospice was great and I highly recommend the Kaiser Oakland crew, and he went peacefully and pleasantly.

"Now that your father has died, what are you going to do next?"


Yes, I can actually make that joke, because the day of the burial, we took off to Disneyland, for the first time in ten years/since he was diagnosed. We could think of no better sendoff for the guy who used to go there tons of times back in the day, and did some Matterhorn riding in his honor. It was great fun, and it turns out that as long as the rain doesn't kick in, January is a great time to go and skip the lines. Were it not for the fact that a lot of other stuff always tends to start up in January, I'd say we should institute a memorial trip down there every year.

And right after that, Mom got the kitchen/living room/bathroom remodeled. (So much for "Don't do anything big in the first year after," eh?) I thought she was insane to do it, but it actually didn't take longer than six months to do in the end, and the results are pretty nice.

2007 was not only the year The Big Death finally went down, but it was the Year of Travel, since one way or another we hadn't gone anywhere much in the last few years. In March I went down to southern California again to visit my friend Jess, and in July we went along with my mom's side relatives to Hawaii- Big Island and Kauai. While Oahu is still definitely my favorite island and where I would want to move to, the other ones are pretty nifty as well. Mom got a Hilton vacation timeshare thingie, so we can go back sometime soonish. Woo hoo!

Mom joined a grief group and is doing well in that. She is actually doing very well, all things considered. I am also doing pretty well myself, though I am rather baffled as to what to do now that life is no longer "on hold" until after Dad dies. Clearly, my answer to that this year was The Year Of Travel, so at least I did something!

I actually got some stuff written this year that wasn't during NaNoWriMo, and churned out some short stories from time to time. I finished my sixth completed novel this year, and it's the best one yet, I think. HOPEFULLY I will figure out how to edit it in 2008...that's my goal, anyway, since editing for heavy plot problems is not my skill. I think this one's gonna be a trilogy!

For Thanksgiving this year, we wanted to bypass old memories and sitting around at relatives' houses feeling sad, so instead we did dinner and an overnighter in San Francisco. Doing an overnight stay in SF has always been a dream of Mom's, and it lived up to her expectations. Doing something completely new got us out of any sad and moping mode, so it was great. I highly recommend SF on Thanksgiving.

The Year of Travel will conclude with two more trips in December: a trip up north to see Cornish Christmas and Victorian Christmas in one weekend, and a trip to Cambria for the days after Christmas.

Wow. I can't believe I'm writing one of these where there is something to say other than how bad Dad's condition has gotten. We are glad he is not suffering any longer, and glad that we are not suffering any longer as well.

Happy Holidays,

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